Case Study: A lockdown environmental control installation where the Occupational Therapist (OT) was the hands of the Engineer

Remote installation of Qwayo system by NHS Ayrshire & Arran and Possum Ltd, May 2020

As we all adjust to the new normal in this strange and difficult time, we are trying to think of ways to support our clients and partners to ensure that the people who need Possum products and services are able to access these in a safe way. Here is an example of how we installed a Qwayo solution for a client with a spinal injury, without attending the installation in person.

Our client was discharged home after a period in hospital, and as our client had a spinal injury, a Qwayo system was required to be installed at her house. However, as she was discharged from hospital during the Coronavirus crisis, there were many additional complications to overcome, including not being able to have a Possum engineer go to her home to install this system.

Kirsty Lewis, Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioner for NHS Ayrshire & Arran looks after our client. She contacted Kay Jones, Customer Services Administrator at Possum, who oversees and manages all the appointments in the area where the client lives. Kirsty was keen to see if there was anything that could be done for the client during the lockdown.

Kay says: “I wondered if it would be possible to install the system remotely to give the client some benefit quickly, without having to wait for the current lockdown restrictions to be relaxed. I spoke with my colleague Jon Graham, Technical Manager for Scotland, and together we came up with a solution.”

The solution was that the required products would first be set up by the Test department at Possum to include the client’s details, mobile SIM card, email account and anti-virus software overseen by Mike Byrnes, Purchasing Manager at Possum. Whilst the vast majority of staff at Possum are now fully home based, we have a small dedicated team of people in Stores, Test & Despatch still coming into the premises to provide essential services like despatching goods to the NHS, while maintaining social distancing and adhering strictly to Government safe working guidelines.

Once the initial set up was completed, the items were packed and couriered up to where Jon lives in Scotland so he could pre-program the kit at home to the exact specification required by the client. As he was able to do much of the required technical work from home, this meant there were fewer installation steps for Kirsty to do in the client’s home. Jon created a checklist to ensure all aspects of the programming and remote installation would run smoothly. The programmed kit was then cleaned, packed up and couriered to the client.

At the client’s home in Ayrshire, Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioner Kirsty Lewis, was the hands of the engineer. Kirsty installed the pre-programmed kit for the client with support from Jon who was available for voice and video calls throughout. The installation took about an hour.

Kirsty comments: “The setup from my point of view went very well, as it enabled our patient to have access to a variety of uses with the environmental control. I have worked with Jon several times in the past, and have built a good working relationship with him, which allowed me to have the confidence to set this up, using the great knowledge and patience that Jon has’.

Jon adds: “We carry a lot of stock at our office in Aylesbury so we can meet quick despatch timelines. I conducted the pre-programming of the kit at home and ran tests on it to ensure it would work when it got to the client’s house. I am very grateful to Kay and Kirsty for working with me to help install this system into the client’s home. It is great that in such a difficult time we have been able to make a big difference to someone’s day to day life whilst ensuring the client’s safety was protected at all times. Kirsty and I have both agreed with we couldn’t have done it without one another and I am proud to have been a part of a solution where we all worked in new ways to achieve something together.”

Our client lives on her own and during the lockdown period has been able to receive very few visitors due to the current restrictions.

With the Qwayo system she can now communicate independently with the outside world by phone, video or email, as well as controlling her home environment and having many recreational opportunities for watching TV and reading books.

With thanks to NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

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