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Welford Healthcare commend speech transfer systems in new virus-proof visitor suites

Founded in 2017, Welford Healthcare is a collection of 4 boutique care homes across the UK, providing quality care for vulnerable adults. In each of their care homes Welford Healthcare offer Residential Care, Nursing Care and Respite Care which they ensure is in a safe and comfortable environment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge for social care and in particular care homes in 2020, with all homes closing their doors for over two months to visitors. With the lockdown eventually easing and family and friends once again allowed to visit their loved ones, care homes have had to put protective and social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of residents, staff, carers and guests.

In May 2020, Welford Healthcare got in touch with Contacta for advice on speech transfer system options for their care homes. They were transforming bedrooms into fully split-glazed visitor suites. After months of no visitors they wanted to ensure residents were able to see relatives safely, with the best available facilities.

After discussing the specific requirements, Contacta recommended their newly launched STS-K070 Speech Transfer System which they agreed to trial with Welford Healthcare. This system is housed in plastic casing and provides high quality sound across partitions and safety screens. The wide-angle Boundary Microphone included with this system was ideal for this setup, as it is capable of capturing the sound from a group of friends or family members sitting in various locations across the screen.

The care home provider was happy to proceed with the proposal, with Contacta supplying and installing these systems in two of their homes; Argentum Lodge in Nailsea and Holmseley in Sidmouth.

With the glazing installation already booked, Contacta were on a tight timeframe to install the speech system. As drilling through the metal track frame that supports the glass was not permitted, an alternative installation method had to be used. Contacta’s engineers were able to overcome this by neatly laying the system cables under the carpet flooring. Subsequent tests were carried out to ensure the signal was good and that both residents and visitors were able to hear clearly when sat around the low coffee table. A hearing loop system has been added to the installation to help residents with hearing loss.

Welford Healthcare reported that the new visitor’s suits had been very well received. They advised that they were extremely pleased with the product and loved the new plastic housing design of the system which they felt blended well with the room aesthetic.

On the product and installation Will Neal, Partner at Welford Healthcare, said:

“We are thrilled to have pioneered these innovative new areas for our residents in response to the COVID pandemic. We know how important face-to-face contact is, especially in these challenging times and we are very excited to be able to facilitate our residents to properly see and speak to their loved ones for the first time in months in a comfortable and private setting.”

Contacta and Welford Healthcare remain in contact, with early discussions to install further systems in their other homes should they decide to open new visitor rooms.

www.contacta.co.uk