WCS Care has marked the two-year anniversary of its Innovation Hub in Kenilworth.
Over 600 visitors have experienced the unique space which includes working mock-ups of the latest technology and concepts that the Warwickshire based charity already uses in its care homes or plans to use in future development such as Woodside Care Village in Warwick, which opens in the autumn.
Christine Asbury, WCS Care’s Chief Executive, said: “Back in 2017, we set a challenge to the sector and the government about ambition in care services, using creativity and technology to deliver positive change.
“The popularity of the hub shows that there’s a real appetite for change and to share learning, so that everyone gets access to high quality care, regardless of who provides it or how it’s paid for.”
The hub is at WCS Care’s newest and most technologically advanced home, Castle Brook, and has already welcomed representatives from over 80 other care home providers, as well as the CQC, national NHS teams, hospital trusts, local authorities and MPs, including Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage MP (pictured with Director of Innovation and Development, Ed Russell).
It features a recreated bedroom with a night-time acoustic monitoring system that automatically alerts staff to unusual sounds so they can respond quickly when needed. A non-recording camera is also being trialled as part of this system to give carers a live visual prompt, on which to base their care decisions, that is only viewed when an acoustic alert is triggered.
Electronic care planning, which means carers spend more time with residents instead of extensive paper recording, and an advanced nurse call system that alerts staff through handheld devices rather than disruptive call bells, are some of the other technologies.
WCS Care has also installed circadian rhythm lighting into the hub that mimics daylight in the day and creates biological darkness at night, keeping the body in a solid circadian cycle, helping to improve sleep and daytime alertness, which has positive impacts on people with dementia.
Circadian rhythm lighting is already being trialled on a household and in public spaces at another of WCS Care’s homes in Rugby and is set to be installed throughout its new home in Warwick.
The hub also provides a space for the charity’s existing partners to collaborate and share ideas about how they could join up each other’s products and services to improve health and wellbeing for residents across the care sector.
As a result of the success of the Hub, developers regularly approach the charity to test concepts and try out new technology before rolling it out elsewhere.