Stonewater appoints Taking Care for round the clock customer peace of mind

Stonewater, one of the country’s leading social housing providers, has signed a three-year contract with Taking Care, part of AXA Health, to give customers and their families peace of mind around the clock.

Taking Care

More than 3,500 customers living in Stonewater’s retirement living properties across England are benefitting from the 24-hour alarm monitoring service. The contract provides a wealth of support to enable people to live in their retirement apartments and bungalows more happily, healthily and independently.

Highly trained staff at Taking Care’s Emergency Resolution Centre will immediately respond to customers who activate their personal alarms. Using the individual’s medical information, and following established call pathways, operators will contact family, carers or responder services such as a GP or paramedic, or give information and advice.

However, the new contract is much wider-reaching with Taking Care managing the monitoring system across whole schemes. If fire or smoke alarms are set off, operators alert emergency services and remotely provide access into the building.

Emergency pull cords in communal areas including lounges, laundry rooms, lifts and communal bathrooms, are also monitored, helping Stonewater to keep their Retirement Living communities safe.

“The service Taking Care is providing is absolutely invaluable,” explains Emma Tobin, Head of Wellbeing at Stonewater. “Hearing a calm, knowledgeable voice in times of emergency or crisis is so important.

“Taking Care’s skilled operators have a wealth of contacts they can access when someone is in need. If a lift alarm is activated in one of our schemes, for example, the operator can access the individual’s personal record to see whether they have any medical conditions which may make the situation more serious. They’ll keep talking until help arrives.”

The new contract with Taking Care will see service costs remain at the same level for customers during the next 12 months, with a nine per cent cost reduction during years two and three of the contract for the first class personalised monitoring service.

Taking Care was appointed by Stonewater following a rigorous procurement process executed by the Northern Housing Consortium Framework.

Companies were scored on quality and price, with four being invited to bid to Stonewater’s Evaluation Panel. Comprised of staff from across Stonewater’s retirement living team, the Panel scrutinised each bid before selecting Taking Care for its outstanding quality and price, as well as how they communicate with people.

Stonewater has worked closely with Taking Care to jointly develop all procedures for customer communication. All responses are tailored to the individual with operators highly trained in talking with people with different medical conditions including supporting people with dementia.

Emma Tobin adds: “The monitoring service gives real peace of mind to customers, their family and carers. In these difficult times when family and friends have been unable to visit and provide support, this service is absolutely vital to enable individuals to continue living safely and independently and with the confidence that help is on hand if needed.”

Steve Gates, Managing Director at Taking Care said: “We’re delighted to be working with such an innovative and well-respected organisation as Stonewater. It is clear that the safety and security of their residents is absolutely top priority and we’re pleased that our 24/7 award-winning service will provide them with high quality all-round protection and peace of mind.

“Stonewater are a large forward-thinking organisation, that are truly planning ahead with their digital journey for technology in their supported living schemes, and dispersed alarms. They chose Taking Care because they were confident in our abilities to resource and deliver high quality, safe services for their tenants and leaseholders from our Emergency Resolution team.

“The onboarding process has been an open and productive relationship and we greatly look forward to future working together.”