The award-winning Balhousie Care Group has come up an innovative solution to a recurring complaint that staff were on their mobile phones.

The care home group, with 26 homes around Scotland, has pioneered the solution – a set of stickers and posters – at Balhousie Clement Park care home in Dundee. The messages are to assure visitors that staff are not taking five to check their phones, but are in fact working.

When Balhousie Care launched mobile monitoring devices in its homes, the electronic storage of care interactions and planning was an immediate boon to both staff and residents. It also meant operations managers could harness residents’ information remotely and more easily. The only downside was the devices themselves, which look like mobile phones. This left some residents and families concerned staff were on their phones when they were accessing resident information.

Jill Kerr, Group Chief Executive Officer for Balhousie Care Group, said:

“We were getting comments from some visitors to our homes, that staff looked like they were on their phones. The misconception was that they were taking a break to text or catch up with social media, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact our homes have strict no-mobile policies while staff are working. What visitors were seeing was our care staff inputting valuable information about how our residents are feeling and acting, what they’ve eaten, whether they’ve had their medication. The mobile monitoring devices are great for the on-the-go nature of the job, it’s just that if you’re not a member of staff, you might not understand what they are.”

Care home staff and management put their heads together with marketing and design agency SBP Creative to come up with a clever and eye-catching solution. SBP designed stickers and posters which brand the devices with a comical graphic that assure everyone ‘Don’t worry, we’re not on our phones!’

The stickers and posters were launched this week at Balhousie’s Dundee care home Clement Park, where the idea first took shape. They will be rolled out to Balhousie Care’s other homes in the next month.

Margaret Stephen, Home Manager at Balhousie Clement Park, said: “This is a perfect solution and has already been well received by staff, who were frustrated that visitors thought they might be taking a break. Of course we know that’s not the case – they’re an incredibly hard-working bunch and we’re delighted to be celebrating that.”

Photo captions: 1. L to R – Resident Hugh Lynch, Home Manager Margaret Stephen and Senior Carer Dominika Fellman test out the new mobile care devices at Balhousie Clement Park care home. 2. The posters and stickers designed by SBP Scotland.