Taking Care telecare service image

Personal alarm provider Taking Care has become the country’s first telecare provider to complete full testing of its product range before the planned switchover from analogue to digital telephone networks by 2025.

Taking Care has worked with Openreach to carry out rigorous stress tests of its personal care alarm range, which provide “life-saving” services for elderly and vulnerable people, to ensure they are compatible with the new digital telephone network.

The digital switch is set to bring about major changes to the telecare industry. Traditionally reliant on analogue telephone landlines, the switchover means all new houses are set to be built with a digital-only connection from 2023.

Delivered in a controlled laboratory environment, the alarm testing has been carried out on some of the UK’s major telephone providers to ensure maximum longevity of Taking Care’s telecare equipment following the switchover.

In preparation for the switch, families and older people are being urged to check the compatibility of their personal alarm with their current telecare provider and phone network once they are informed of a digital upgrade to their home phone. The worry is they could be left at risk if their personal alarm is not able to connect digitally to get help in an emergency, according to Steve Gates, Managing Director at Taking Care.

He said: “As a company, we’ve been preparing for the transition to the digital network for some time now and Taking Care is the first service provider to have completed this for a range of personal alarms well ahead of the switchover.

“The process has been a massive collaborative effort. And, it’s involved working closely with Openreach, telecoms providers, Ofcom, alarm manufacturers, and the Technology Services Association (the industry body for technology enabled care), to understand the impact of the digital telephone network on this life-saving service.

“It’s been really important to us to proactively respond to the potential impact the digital switchover will have on our customers. We want to provide our customers with the peace of mind that we can supply a range of products that will mitigate the impact of the digital switchover and safeguard them by instantly connecting them to professional help in an emergency.”

Taking Care, a subsidiary of AXA Health, has been providing personal alarm services for over 30 years.

In February, Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, visited the TEC provider to learn about the “life-saving” benefits of telecare in keeping vulnerable clients independent in their homes for longer.

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