Clever Cogs; Blackwood’s innovative care system begins trials in Dundee!

Following on from the highly successful and ongoing trial at Blackwood’s care home at Broom Court in Stirling, Clever Cogs is now expanding its reach all the way to Dundee. Clever Cogs is a smart system operated by touch screen that is being developed by Blackwood and Soft Orange. A technology enabled care system; it will improve people’s independence and help them control how their own care is delivered. Additionally our customers will be able to communicate with their family and friends, monitor their health and control their home as well as take advantage of all the benefits that the internet brings.


Expanding from Stirling to Dundee


‘It’s a very different set up to Broom Court’ explains Pamela Hay, Telecare Implementation Co-ordinator. ‘Blackwood doesn’t have a care home for starters in Dundee and there are definitely more people in Dundee who had used a computer before we came. None of the residents [in Stirling] really had any experience of computer technology except for maybe a couple people’.


19 people in and around Dundee have had Clever Cogs units fitted in their homes so far with Digital Skills trainer Shawn Moore helping to introduce them to the system.


‘The experience in Dundee has brought different challenges in comparison to Broom Court – mainly, that our customers here are dispersed and do not live in close proximity to the regional office (unlike Stirling). So, we are looking to develop further learning resources that can ensure customers have further independence to troubleshoot both through user manuals and with video ‘how to’ guides that we plan to feature on their Clever Cogs screens.


Early days


Where Dundee is concerned, Clever Cogs is still very much in its infancy. And lessons learned during the Stirling trials are not being lost on this next stage.


‘We are continuing to roll out introductory staff training with using the mobile app and with office based staff on utilising the system for task allocation and scheduling’ Shawn More continues. ‘One lesson we have taken from Stirling is to incorporate more practical demonstrations of using the mobile app during training sessions before the handsets are deployed’.


Staff members who are being trained are still waiting to see the full effect of Clever Cogs but appear confident of the positive impact it will have. Hayley Strachan, a Support Assistant has already received some training using the mobile phone app that links staff to service users.


‘I’m slowly taking it in. once I start using it then it will get a bit better. Shawn’s managed to explain everything pretty clearly. It’s early days so just now we’ve looked at the diary, using the alarm, just the basics. I think it’s positive. Some of the staff were not 100% sure about it but the majority think it’s a good idea.


So what will the benefits be?


Iain Ross is a support assistant based in Blackwood’s Dundee office. He has been involved from early on and believes Clever Cogs is a step in the right direction.


‘I went with Pam and Shawn to do initial assessments to find out who was interested and see what service they felt we could provide with Clever Cogs.

They’re quite keen. There’s a big mix of elderly and young, technology savvy kind of people. So some people kind of went for the security aspect of it. So you’ve got the door entry system, you can find out who’s at your door. Other people went for the video calling, liking the fact that they could see their family regularly. There’s a couple who are very IT literate, and they just embraced it.’


Iain also identified one service user, Jimmy, who has been using Clever Cogs to have video conversations with friends and family. And regarding another case he says;

‘I’m working with a tenant who has 24 hour care and I think they’re going to benefit from just about everything Clever Cogs has to offer.’


And of course customers are not the only ones who will benefit from Clever Cogs once it’s up and running. Iain continues


‘It’s going well, I’m enjoying it. And when it’s up and running that’ll be great. I personally like the phone. I think it’s great. I think once the calendar’s up and going that’s going to be a big help when we’re linked up to the rotas’.


Philip Richardson Adebowale is Service Manager in Dundee and agrees that the digital coordination of the rotas between staff and service users is going to be massively helpful. He refers to one tenant in particular who greatly appreciates this side of Clever Cogs:


‘This has been a positive because at least now we don’t have to struggle so much with the rota. [The tenant] knows who’s coming because it’s being fed into the system. Now with the technology she receives rotas immediately.’


He along with the rest of the staff are now eagerly awaiting the system going live to feel the full benefits of Clever Cogs.


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