A NORTHWICH-based company played a key role in helping care home residents connect with the outside world during lockdown.

Care home bosses were determined to ensure important milestones weren't missed after installing new technology thanks to MRD Technologies, based in Wincham.

With no reliable, consistent wifi at Christopher Grange in West Derby, which is part of the Catholic Blind Institute (CBI) in Liverpool, and restrictions on visits and face-to-face meetings, Bob Birchall, CBI’s chief executive, said something needed to happen to update their existing wifi.

Bob said: "As a care provider we understand how important it is for residents to see their loved ones.

"Whilst we had to protect residents and staff, we also wanted to set up ‘virtual visits’ but our wifi wasn’t able to cope with the demand – it simply didn’t reach every area and we couldn’t guarantee signal which we were finding was very frustrating and disheartening for the residents and their families.

"Installing tech during this time wasn’t going to be easy with all the restrictions in place.

"But we knew we needed to get communication technologies up to speed so we could all feel connected in here, whilst the pandemic was happening out there.

"We all know how important wifi is but especially during the lockdown we felt it even more and from the feedback we have had from many families, it really was a huge comfort to them too.

"MRD were respectful and understanding throughout and have worked closely with us to ensure the privacy and dignity of our residents.

"It really has been a massive step forward for us all."

Working with technology providers MRD Technologies, the team and residents now have full access to a host of services available via the internet to allow them to do online meetings, video calls, streaming services or simply connecting email.

Mark Ralph director at MRD said: "We work with a number of charities who had vulnerable people in their care – so lockdown was a challenge for many, but Christopher Grange was in need of a quick solution.

"To lower cost and allow a quicker installation, we worked to install access points around the site which meant we minimised cabling and therefore the disruption to the day-to-day running of the home.

"It’s so important to us that we work alongside our clients and this was a very successful partnership indeed."