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Kirklees Council has approved £1.3 million funding to buy digital carephone devices for 3,500 residents ahead of the analogue switch-off in 2025.

The funding is designed to keep vulnerable telecare users safe as the council implements a national digital switchover.

The UK’s digital network delivery provider, Openreach, plans to introduce a fully fibre digital network by the end of 2025. Every business and home in the country will have its connections upgraded.

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People will no longer be able to make landline calls using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Instead, calls will use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

This also affects analogue telecare device users, as equipment past this date will no longer function. Kirklees Council’s latest investment is designed to ensure telecare service users can still receive the service they require to remain safe and well.

Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Carephones are a means for vulnerable residents to call for help if they require urgent assistance.

“By investing in digital carephones we aim to ensure residents get access to the social care they require to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

“The investment will also help our emergency services colleagues by reducing pressure on blue light services and preventing avoidable hospital admissions.”

There will be a phased approach to issue digital devices over the next 18 months to match Openreach’s switchover in Kirklees, according to the local authority.

Similarly, Portsmouth City Council introduced a digital telecare service before the 2025 analogue switch-off. The service went live with the launch of a new website, and the transition of its first clients to digital equipment earlier this year.

Find out more about Kirklees Council’s carephone packages here.

To learn more about the analogue switch-off, and what this means for telecare services, read this insightful guest article from Richard Parkinson, which also provides a snapshot of the current telecare landscape.

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