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Grand Union Housing completes first digital development with Appello

Smart Living Solutions has revolutionised care and support for residents at the Bedfordshire Extra Care development

Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG), a provider of affordable housing and personal support and care for older people throughout Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire, has chosen Appello to provide its first digital living solutions to residents at Quince Court in Sandy, Bedfordshire.

Residents will benefit from apartment-to-apartment video calls, video door entry system, upgraded smoke detectors, and pendants for each resident to wear in case of emergency. Buttons have been replaced with tactile touch pads, making them more accessible for visually and physically impaired residents. This technology has been installed in all 30 apartments, and 17 communal areas.

Appello’s Smart Living Solutions have replaced the analogue system previously in place at Quince Court. The digital solution will reduce connection times to Appello’s alarm receiving centre from minutes to a few seconds – making a significant difference to residents in an emergency or life-threatening situation. The installation was completed in December 2018, just four weeks after signing the deal with Appello.

Mark Green, Independent Living Manager at Grand Union Housing Group says: “From a business perspective, Appello offered the most modern and flexible digital solution on the market. What we looked for was speed and digital flexibility and it was clear Appello’s technology would stand the test of time. The solution is fit for the modern world, helps to reduce social isolation and offers more security to residents through products like the video-door entry system to flats. Grand Union provides residents with a home for life and Appello has helped us to do that.”

Jan Davis, Dementia and Extra Care Project Officer at Grand Union Housing Group, says: “The feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly positive, they have been impressed by the speed of the solutions and how easy they are to use. The install was fast, and the team at Appello worked hard to reduce any impact on residents during that time. Since then they have been on hand to help our residents make the most of the new services available to them.

“Carers can now prioritise incoming emergency calls, and when they are unable to answer, the calls go directly to Appello’s 24/7 monitoring centre, meaning that residents are guaranteed help and support when needed. For the Extra Care team, we can now proactively monitor the calls to see when and where support calls are generated, allowing us to improve the services we offer to our residents.” 

Tim Barclay, CEO at Appello, said: “There is a growing recognition from housing providers that telecoms providers will be switching off analogue services soon, and existing analogue services are becoming increasingly unreliable. Grand Union Housing Group should be commended for embracing the long-term benefits of digital care solutions.

Mr Barclay concludes: “We are excited to see the residents at Quince Court commence with the next stage of their digital journey – accessing the Grand Union app through their LivingHub to reach online services provided by their housing provider, and taking advantage of our AppelloApp for tariff-free video calling, medication reminders and video door entry from the comfort of their armchair. 

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