Alcove Covid-19 Virtual Care Case Studies (4/7) - Suffolk County Council: Bryan's Story

 As part of Loneliness week we are bringing you beautiful examples every day of how the Alcove Video Carephone is being used to connect families, carers and communities.

This is case study 4: Bryan's Story, provided by his care provider Potsford Case Services, a provider based in Suffolk County.

 Potsford Care Services Ltd in Suffolk encompasses a Care Farm (Day Service) and is a Community Support agency – where they currently support 17 people in their own homes.

 Their Community Support varies but can include personal care visits as well as a lot of social support - getting out and about and meeting people. They help people maintain their own homes and provide additional support activities.

 They have residents who are now using the Video Alcove and have found it very beneficial. One of the recipients is Bryan, who they have been supporting for three years with Activities of Daily Living - including household activities, such as cleaning, shopping and sometimes cooking and trialling recipes.

Bryan has a Learning Disability and some health issues and, while not shielding, he is vulnerable. Before Covid-19, he received support from Potsford Care Services, and also from another provider called Artbox. Bryan enjoyed seeing his friends at Artbox, and taking trips to see the farm animals at Potsford Farm.

 Bryan found the set-up process really easy and he did this over the Carephone with Alcove support. He now uses the device to check in with Potsford and Alcove also set-up a tile to Artbox for him, so he has continuity of this service too. Anthony, one of Bryan’s care workers, has taken the device outside so that Bryan can see all the farm animals on his Carephone, which he loved.

 Bryan says, “I think it’s very good to help me communicate and see people I can’t go to see. It is very easy to use and would be good for anyone who lives on their own and can’t get out.”

 Kevin Francis, director at Potsford Care services has said that the Carephone has really limited Bryan’s exposure to infection by reducing the number of visits in a day.

 He explains further: “Having the Carephone means we have peace of mind that our clients are okay. You can really have a fuller conversation with people than you would over the phone, you can see their facial expressions and give them the reassurance they need.

 “The other benefit is that it allows us to work more flexibly and change the way we support people. We can shift our slots so that we have a longer time to spend with the client when we do visit, and schedule in shorter video sessions across the day. It also protects our staff from exposure to infection.”

 “We also thought Bryan could really use the Video Carephone to stay in touch with his day services and to also limit the number of face-to-face visitors he has at this time. He now has one physical visit during the day and then video drop-ins, as and when appropriate.”

 Kevin believes that the Video Carephone will also provide huge benefits to families and those who live with vulnerable people – so that they can continue to provide whole family support.

 He continues: “It is so simple from the provider perspective. Following the virtual training session, we were sent the link and now we can log in and make video calls. It is an extra support tool for us to have. In the longer term it would be fantastic for us to be able to spend more time on leisure activities – which is so vital to prevent social isolation and support wellbeing – and use the technology for welfare checks”