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Surviving the Winter – Reducing Infection Risk and Staff Pressure

Articles, Care Homes

We have all been party to the devastation that Covid-19 has caused in care homes across the UK. The terrible cost in lives, the emotional toll on staff and the business impact to operators have been unprecedented.

We are not going to comment on the entirety of the government’s response… However,  we have seen the benefit of the Infection Control Fund and how it can be used with Ally to help reduce the risk of infection and to reduce the pressure of care staff during the pandemic.


of care staff off sick during the pandemic

of agency staff more likely to test positive

excess deaths in care homes between April-August

The Inevitable Increase in Staff Pressure

It has been reported that up to 10% of care staff have been off sick due to Covid-19 and we’ve heard first hand how some homes have 25% of their staff self-isolating. This has put more pressure on care home management to use agency staff to ensure safe care.

However recent research shows that during April and August agency staff were 1.6 times more likely to test positive for Covid-19 compared to employed staff. With 29,500 excess deaths recorded in care settings during this period and half of care homes using bank and agency staff, it is no surprise that current government guidelines have changed with regards to agency staff being used in homes.

Consequently, we are seeing employed care homes relying on their staff to cover more shifts to reduce agency use but with the net result of higher staff pressure and fatigue.

According to our Customers, Ally Reduces Covid-19 Pressure

Ally’s advanced resident monitoring system is supporting care homes in their ability to identify possible symptoms and control the risk of Covid-19 infection for their residents and staff. Ally is proven to safely reduce contact by 65% for sleeping or isolated residents during the day.

Ally works by automatically detecting unusual activity, specific to the individual resident. Staff receive an audio alert, that they listen to and then determine whether residents actually need assistance, e.g. getting out of bed, calling for help, or being agitated. This enables care homes to give assistance when required rather than automatically checking on them, which often causes a disturbance.


Friends of the Elderly have use Ally before and during lockdown to benefit their residents and staff:

The ability to monitor isolated and sleeping residents is a huge benefit to our teams who are under additional pressure due to Covid-19. The system is a solid asset that helps them to continue to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Steve Allen

CEO, Friends of the Elderly

What Does Ally do Specifically Around Covid-19?

Using Ally’s continuous monitoring system for newly admitted or Covid-19 positive residents, allows staff to safely check on residents only when needed. Ally is proven to safely reduce the number of checks on average by 65%.

An NHS Digital funded study showed that using Ally for sleeping residents is proven to reduce regular night-time visits to resident rooms by 65%, along with reducing night-time falls by 63% and hospital admissions by 56%. 

Residents Healthier

Staff are notified in real-time to residents coughing fits, whilst care home managers can access daily cough reports, helping care homes identify and isolated Covid-19 positive residents earlier, reducing the risk of transmission around the home.

Fewer regular checks mean staff have 30% more time. This helps staff better manage the increases in workload, whether due to infection control measures or staff shortages. Thus improving long term resilience.

Greensleeves use Ally to reduce the pressure on their staff:

My night staff are so much more engaged, they really feel like they are part of the home since they can now proactively hand over to day-staff and play an active role in care planning, which was much more difficult to do before they could put context around the resident’s wellbeing.


Care Home Manager, Greensleeves

Ally is Eligible for The Infection Control Fund

Ally resident monitoring system enables care homes to safely reduce face to face contact with sleeping or isolated residents and identify Covid-19 symptoms earlier. This reduces the risk of transmission for staff and residents, frees up substantial staff time, whilst still ensuring residents receive care when they need it.

Ally fits the first two of the reporting requirements of:

1. Measures to isolate residents within their own care homes

2. Actions to restrict staff movement within care homes

Remote Installation & Training

Throughout 2020, Ally has been fortunate to work with an amazing group of new and existing customers. As a consequence, we have developed safe methods to install and train care staff remotely, thus removing a significant safety barrier for care homes to benefit from the value that Ally brings. Read more about Ally’s remote installation and training.

We’re ready to help reduce your contact, infection risk and staff pressure so please get in touch below to learn more about Ally Resident Monitoring.