Greensleeves Care is a multi-award-winning, care charity that has been supporting older people for more than 20 years. They offer residential, nursing, and dementia care in more than 20 care homes across England with a clear mission to “provide the best possible care for residents while also looking after their families”.
In October of 2019, Greensleeves Care invested in retrofitting Ally’s wireless acoustic monitoring system for Harleston House, a 39-bed specialist dementia care home in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Their goal was to improve the quality of their night-time care for residents whilst also giving staff more time to care.
With Ally deployed in each resident’s room, staff are notified when residents are no longer peacefully asleep and may need assistance. This helps care teams to rapidly respond when needed whilst allowing them to confidently leave residents to sleep peacefully, freeing up time from the normal regular check rounds.
Susan Graham, Home Manager at Harleston House, saw early-on how using Ally would support the transformation of their night time care.
“Using Ally had an immediate impact on our care in the first week and since then we have never looked back.”
Susan takes us through her experience of using Ally:
Care Is More Targeted and Appropriate
“For me, Ally really transformed how my team provides care to our residents at night. We are now able to respond to residents’ needs better, understand how to better care for them round the clock, and also ensure we give them the best night’s sleep possible.
We realised the immediate impact from the outset. On the very first night of use, we were alerted to a resident who had a fall that we simply would not have known about until the next check. Beyond this, we have seen a reduction in the number of night-time falls, as we are now often able to respond to assist residents before a fall happens.
As we use the system we were able to continuously learn about our residents, which has helped us fundamentally change how we provide care for them both night and day. In fact, before we used the system there were about one-third of our residents who we couldn’t figure out why their well-being had changed or what to do to improve it.
We are now able to respond to residents’ needs better, understand how to better care for them round the clock, and also ensure we give them the best night’s sleep possible.
For example, we had a resident who would often sleep during the day. In the first week, Ally’s alerts helped us realise he was being woken up by the kitchen fan early each morning, limiting his sleep. We have simply changed our cooking routine and he is now so much happier.
We also had a resident who we found out would often wake from 1am, then walk around their bedroom trying to find their familiar toilet. We now know when they wake so we can assist them, and have moved their room next to the favourite toilet ensuring they can settle back to sleep much more quickly.
Other nights we discovered the loneliness some of our residents felt when alone in their rooms. With Ally’s alerts, my staff can now identify this immediately, respond, and help comfort and reassure these residents when they need it.
By using Ally we have been able to respond quickly to our residents’ needs, but also build up a night-time wellbeing picture that we never had before. This has enabled us to identify the cause of these concerns and put in action plans to solve them. It’s been truly amazing to see the impact.
As a care home manager, I sleep better at night as I know my night-time care is outstanding with Ally.
We Have More Time to Care
When we first started using Ally we kept our normal regular checks in place for the first few nights. This is recommended by the Ally team to give our staff time to get used to and confident with the system.
During these first few nights one of the things that really surprised us was how often after a regular check, we would soon receive an Ally alert because the resident was now awake and needed assistance, even though they were clearly asleep when we checked.
Using Ally has been a real eye-opener on how much we had been overdoing care.
After this, we simply extended each resident’s regular checks from 2 to 4 or 5 hours in the Ally app. This had a profound effect on the number of times residents were woken up and we could clearly see that they started to sleep better with the total number of alerts from the Ally system coming down from around 150/night to about 110.
The overall consequence of this is that we now only check on residents just 20 times a night on average, down from the 145 regular checks we were originally doing.
Simply, my care team now has much more time to care for residents that need it.
As a care home manager this gives me the confidence to admit residents with more complex care needs.”
My Night Staff Are More Engaged
Ultimately Ally has been hugely positive for my night staff who are all now so much happier and more engaged.
They are under less pressure and have more time to focus on caring. But they also feel like they are a more integral part of the care team since they can now proactively hand over detailed information on each resident’s wellbeing to day-staff and play an active role in care planning.
Families Are Happier
A big part of any manager’s role at Greensleeves Care is to also help look after the families of the residents.
“All our relatives have really embraced Ally. We can now give relatives so much more information than before and show how much our care has improved.
Introducing Ally has been really positive for our existing families as well as new admissions.”
Getting Started With Ally Was Easy
“It took just half a day to install all Ally devices in the rooms, and the Ally team provided several 1-hour training sessions to all our staff.
The whole team found it incredibly easy to use the Ally app, and loved using it from their very first shift. The training that the Ally team provided was simple and easy for everyone to buy into.
It did take a bit or time for some of my team to get to grips with no longer doing the regular checks but after a week or two the whole culture had shifted to only responding to Ally’s alerts.
During this time the Ally team provided regular feedback and support to help with adoption, which we found extremely helpful.”