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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Dear Relatives,

In England, the Government has just announced that visits to care homes may take place following a ‘negative Covid-19 test’. I just wanted to clarify that this relates to the new Lateral Flow Tests only. The new Lateral Flow Test (or LFT) can give a test result within 30 mins. Thus enabling us to have an accurate up-to-date Covid-19 test result from which we can either agree or decline a visit almost instantly assuming it was pre-booked.

As of today less than a handful of our homes have received these new LFT tests and as such until your particular service receives their allocated test kits then we will need to continue with the current visiting arrangements in place at your particular home.

We do hope the new tests are rolled out quickly and we are told that many homes should have them prior to Xmas however as we are not aware of when they are dispatched and where to, then all we can do is wait and let you know as soon as your service receives their allocation. Only then can we facilitate the new visiting arrangements which these tests are designed to enable.

Thank you for your continued patience. You have been incredibly supportive of our care home teams so far and we hope you do not have long to wait before you can see your loved ones in a way that we all have been longing for since the start of the pandemic.

Thank you again.

Mike Smith Chief Operating Officer