Care homes across Powys will soon benefit from investment in state-of-the-art equipment that aims to improve the quality of life for residents with mobility issues and ease pressures on care home staff.

The care homes will begin using ‘Toto’, a ground-breaking robotic turning platform that can be placed under mattresses, meaning that care home residents who struggle with mobility can be moved while in bed mechanically, instead of by a care worker.

The technology can prevent patients who are immobile from getting pressure ulcers, which can cause pain and suffering, and subsequently have a negative impact on their quality of life. The Toto system uses a specialist mattress which inflates and deflates smoothly and consistently, even while the user is sleeping.

Shaw healthcare, which operates 12 homes in partnership with Powys County Council, is looking forward to introducing the technology in its homes across the county. Simon Kezic-Williams, regional director for Shaw healthcare, said:

“We are delighted that we are able to introduce this equipment to our homes in Powys and are in the process of looking at opportunities to roll out the technology in other homes across the UK.

“Shaw healthcare encourages the use of innovative, assisted technology that enhances the lives of those in our care, and this will allow our care staff more time to attend to other needs our residents may have – which is more important than ever as we continue to face the stresses of COVID-19.”

The equipment will remove the need for additional manual handling aids which can be expensive and cause damage to mattresses and mattress covers. It can also help reduce the risk of personal injury, common to carers who regularly handle multiple patients., Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care with Powys County Council, said: ‘Innovative technology such as this not only improves the quality of life for our citizens but also frees up care staff to fulfil their face to face roles which we know are so valued. We are committed to finding the best care solutions for our residents and working together with partners to make innovation happen.’

Using modern technology to monitor and manage people’s health and deliver care more efficiently is also one of the key themes of A Healthier Wales, the Welsh Government’s long-term plan for the future of health and social care in Wales.

(Stock image taken prior to Covid-19)

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Shaw Covid Compliant
Shaw Covid Compliant

Dear Relatives,

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support of all our care homes and hard-working staff throughout the past year. It has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, and we recognise the impact that the pandemic has had on all those connected to our homes and within our local communities. We are now hopefully seeing a way back to normal and look forward to opening our doors fully in the coming months.

However, following the recent announcement by the government, we are pleased to advise that from Monday 12th April 2021 our care homes in England will be able to allow visits from 2 named visitors(subject to a negative Lateral Flow Test and PPE being worn). We will also be extending visiting into the weekends as long as it is booked in advance. Your care home will discuss with you the guidelines we need to follow for you to become a named visitor.

Furthermore, we are also delighted to announce that for the first-time visits can include a child or baby. Children under the age of 2 will not count towards the 2 named visitor quota. Clearly, visits involving children will need to be carefully managed and in agreement with the home manager. As per the guidance those over the age of 11 will need to wear PPE and be tested (with parental consent).

Another development in the new approach to visiting is the nomination of an ‘essential care giver’. The essential care giver role is intended as a way of supporting the relatively small proportion of our residents who need some element of care and support that could only ever be provided by someone with a unique personal relationship with the resident, perhaps formed over many years. It is likely that this person will already be part of the ongoing care plan for the resident. All this will be at the discretion of the manager and the care giver will be subject to the rigorous testing regime currently undertaken by our own staff. Please speak with your Home Manager for further details.

In summary from 12th April 2021 the new government guidelines for care home visits allow for;

1. 2 named visitors (see the guidance for help on how you could become a named visitor and what restrictions apply)

2. Children can also visit with those under the age of 2 not counted as part of the 2 named visitor quota (see the guidance for help and what restrictions apply)

3. A person can apply for essential carer status but this will need to assessed and agreed by the Home Manager and is subject to rigorous testing.

The Government guidance on care home visiting in England can be found HERE.