In my letter back in June, I acknowledged that many of our beautiful old homes have been deficient in the IT or telecommunications infrastructure to provide adequate connectivity to all areas of the home. This deficiency has been accentuated by the very necessary visiting restrictions required in our continued shielding against Covid-19.
I am therefore delighted to share with you our partnership with the South West’s leading IT Service Provider, Aztek Business, who will be undertaking a comprehensive upgrade of IT connectivity in our homes. In-home works are commencing imminently and are expected to be completed over the next 12 weeks and other significant external installation works are also being contracted with third parties to reach some of our more remotely located homes which will enable the full benefits to be achieved.
This IT infrastructure upgrade represents a significant investment and we recognise that the digital transformation of our organisation will deliver the ability to improve the care we provide and reduce the administrative burden that keeping records places upon our staff. It should also help to significantly improve resident experience and support our ability to work in harmony with our NHS partners, enabling virtual health consultations with healthcare professionals and safely and securely sharing detailed medical information.
As a care provider we recognise that many older people have embraced advances in technology in all its forms, from communication with loved ones through to entertainment, reinforcing this need for action. In addition, within our Specialist Services, the implementation of class-leading IT infrastructure paves the way for exciting developments in assistive technology that further promotes independence and meets specialist needs.
We appreciate that for many, there continue to be frustrations and concerns in respect of our current visiting arrangements but we wish to reassure you that we continue to follow all guidance in respect of Infection Prevention Control, PPE and Risk Management with both resident and staff safety paramount.
We have also commenced works across the group on the provision of protective and weatherproof external visitors’ facilities that will provide further opportunity and resource to safely maintain the contact with your loved ones which we know is so very important.
As ever, we thank you for your continued understanding and support and send our very best wishes to you.
Managing Director (on behalf of Swallowcourt)