Bield pledges service fit for the future

Housing provider Bield has outlined its commitment to transform the sector and continue helping customers to live as independently as possible in their own homes.

Bield pledges service fit for the future

Dr Lynne Douglas

As the population ages, Bield has placed a high priority on providing services that promote healthy aging and creating partnerships that integrate customers with the community and local assets.

Facilitating independent living starts at the housing allocation process, with individuals across the provider now being assigned to properties in relation to their specific needs.

Although allocations are based on a traffic system and dependent in each area, this management can help to reduce moves and supports longer term tenancies.

Dr Lynne Douglas, chief executive of Bield, said: “With a growing older population and people living with more complex needs, it has resulted in a flexible structure being implemented. The model Bield operates allows services to be added or removed as required.

“For example, some of our developments benefit from additional meal service options whereas others are linked in with the Care Inspectorate which enables care-at-home to be provided. It’s important for us that we offer support in specially designed accommodation that is affordable, sustainable and suited to the individual.

“An integrated approach and working to support the needs of all parties is required to fully enable older people to live independently - making Scotland not only the best place to grow up, but also to grow old.”

The provider, which operates in 22 local authority areas across the country and has a diverse customer base of over 5,000 individuals, has seen first-hand the importance of community relationships after working closely with groups throughout the pandemic.

Sourcing prescriptions and shopping for groceries were only some of the acts of kindness displayed, which is something Bield has incorporated Kindness to its core organisational values.

Dr Lynne Douglas continued: “Helping customers integrate into the local and wider community is an extremely important part of what we do.

“Due to the average age of our customers, many of them live alone so we have a variety of ways to ensure they remain socially connected through external partnerships as well as with neighbours and staff internally.

“We’ve trained staff to have more meaningful conversations with older customers as well as facilitating an ongoing, innovative partnership with Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership and Inverclyde Health and Care Social Partnership to bridge digital exclusion.”

Bield’s Alarm Receiving Centre (BR24) also plays an important role in understanding how older customers can benefit from being connected to local assets such as community hubs, while the service focuses on providing round the clock support.

Dr Douglas added: “We’ve found through qualitative data gathering from our Inspire project, that BR24 has actually helped individuals transform their lives through only a short intervention with an operator.”

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