Bield tenants champion pioneering tech project
Two Bield Housing and Care tenants have taken on vital ambassador roles in a pioneering technology project aimed at enhancing digital care within the housing and care sector.
Alice Bayne and Peter Paton, tenants at Bield’s West Port development in Linlithgow, have taken on the role of ‘Champions’ for its leading TAPPI (Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) project, which aims to enable tenants to live at home independently for as long as possible.
After successfully securing £75k in funding last year, Bield launched its TAPPI project which aims to improve the way technology is used across the housing and care sector.
The funding has given Bield a unique opportunity to work with tenants, staff and partners to trial and adapt a range of devices, apps and systems that can be used across a variety of housing settings.
In their roles, Alice and Peter have closely collaborated with project managers through a process of co-production to help adapt and develop the technology, as well as ensuring that fellow tenants are kept informed and actively encouraging greater participation.
Alice, who is 89, said: “Even though I am not the most technologically-minded person, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the project. I can tell my fellow tenants first-hand how beneficial being involved in the project is as well as how much the technology can benefit your everyday life.
“I am currently trialling the technology in my flat and it has not only given me peace of mind but my family too. I live alone and know my family are instantly contacted if anything should go wrong. This is a relief to myself and my family.
“It has been an amazing experience; we were a community of older people that relied on family and friends but now we have technology that has improved our situation in many ways. TAPPI has introduced us to this new way of living with our wonderful equipment. I am delighted to say ‘WE ARE HAPPY WITH TAPPI!’”
With co-production at the heart of the project, Bield staff and tenants have shared the responsibility for developing digital services to support independent living and have tested a range of devices, apps and systems.
Gary Baillie, TAPPI Programme and BR24 service manager, said: “Working closely with Alice and Peter as well as everyone else on the project has allowed us to develop and tailor how we operate to ensure that the technology always benefits the tenant.
“Co-production has been a cornerstone of TAPPI’s mission. It’s the tenants and their families who ultimately reap the benefits of this technology. By actively seeking and incorporating their feedback, we continually adapt and make improvements, ultimately enhancing efficiency across the board.
“Currently, we’re limited to using individuals who live alone as technology trial participants, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The next phase of the TAPPI project involves extending the technology’s availability to couples, allowing them to integrate it into their homes as well.”
The Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project aims to improve the way technology is used in housing and care for older people. Led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust, TAPPI seeks to address the opportunity that technology has to enhance the lives of our ageing population and the barriers that prevent its adoption.
The Bield Tech Hub in Linlithgow launched last year and consists of four spaces including two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, one kitchen space and one living space. There is also a consultation room and a dining space. Each room has been fitted out with three different technologies for people to test including predictive and analytical devices, drinking cups that track fluid intake and 4-D tracking technology.
The hub is open for stakeholders, including local health and social care partnerships, staff and other housing associations, to trial and give feedback on digital care advancements of the future. Tours of the hub can be booked here.
Bield’s use of innovative technology has already received major recognition – it’s ‘Inspire Phase 2’ project which utilised proactive telecare was the winner of the Transformation Award at the 2023 ITEC Awards in Birmingham.