Cradlepoint enables Turning Point to connect with patients through secure 5G networks

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Cradlepoint has been appointed by health and care social enterprise, Turning Point, to provide rapid cellular networking for its local services and offices.

Through the deployment of 5G connectivity, Turning Point has been able to support multiple sites that previously had faced challenges installing broadband, and ensure people using its online services, who are living with drug and/or alcohol problems, a learning disability or mental health issues receive the level of support they need.

One of Turning Point’s local services was facing an influx in demand from people dealing with substance use. This meant a temporary location needed to be set up to help cope with the demand, a new site that required rapid connectivity. Installing fixed fibre networking was both too costly and too long a process for the social enterprise to justify, so an alternative solution was needed.

Following a recommendation from Turning Point’s WAN service provider, Virgin O2, Cradlepoint quickly installed a W1850 router. Combined with Cisco Meraki’s SD-WAN configuration, the pop-up site was able to operate effectively from day one, with a fast, reliable, and secure 5G network.

Turning Point also faced connectivity challenges when moving to a new headquarters. Factors such as the complications of moving internal infrastructure to an office tower block, the time taken to install new fibre cables, and being located on the edge of the City of London – which   brings specific local challenges like accessibility – all meant the social enterprise risked having no connectivity at the new site in time for its grand opening. As the event was to be attended by senior leadership and industry VIPs, the reputational damage could have been significant for the company. Through the deployment of additional W1850 routers, Cradlepoint was able to ensure employees were connected as soon as the doors to the new office opened.  

Speaking on the partnership, Gary Nightingale, IT Project Manager at Turning Point, commented, “Since we started working with Cradlepoint we have seen first-hand the benefits that cellular connectivity can bring. The nature of the work we do requires us to be incredibly flexible as we respond to requests from local authorities for support. Yet, as a social enterprise delivering local authority contracts, the cost of installing new fibre cables for temporary sites is something we can’t justify. 

“However, with Cradlepoint’s W1850 routers we have been able to create secure networks quickly and easily. Likewise, being able to manage these networks through Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager has reduced the burden on the team substantially. For instance, we no longer need to travel to sites to address connectivity issues, and can instead troubleshoot problems from our head office.

Finally, having the reliability that Cradlepoint’s networking solutions brings is essential. With around 4,800 staff, and supporting over 170,000 people each year, any drop in connectivity could cause huge challenges for us, such as support workers not being able to access records, or people not getting support at a time when they need it most. 

Steven Winter, Public Sector Regional Sales Manager at Cradlepoint, stated, “Turning Point’s use of cellular connectivity shows how much of an impact it can have on the front lines of care. This industry has constantly changing demands, from local authorities requesting more support, to temporary sites needing to be activated at short notice to handle increases in the number of people being supported.

It is therefore vital that organisations such as ours have the tools needed to respond to these challenges. Likewise, in a sector where every cost is scrutinised, being able to offer a service that gives real value to the team is a must.  We are very glad to be a part of Turning Point’s mission, and look forward to continuing our work with them over the coming years.”

Bringing care to the community

Beyond the success of supporting new sites, Turning Point is now exploring different ways to bring its services into local communities itself. Through temporary locations, and establishing a presence at events, the team will be able to proactively reach out to people in need to support, helping to reduce pressure on health services in the long run.

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