Portsmouth City Council digital telecare service image

Around 1,100 adults are set to benefit from a new telecare and home safety service introduced by Portsmouth City Council, which has gone live with the launch of a new website, and the transition of its first clients to digital equipment.

The current telecare service uses the landline telephone network to link alarms at their homes to a monitoring centre. With that network due to be switched off in 2025, Portsmouth City Council has decided to update the service now and begin the transition to futureproof alarms and detectors that make use of the internet and mobile telephone technology.

Safe at Home is the name given to the revitalised service, which will provide home safety and security advice and kit, as well as telecare.

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Safe at Home users will receive a base unit to transmit any alarm, and choose friends or family to be their two primary responders if they need assistance.

The council alternatively offers a 24-hour response service, and staff at the alarm-receiving centre will be able to speak to the service user to see whether they need emergency services called out.

Smoke alarms, pressure sensors, fall detectors and motion monitors can all be linked automatically to the 24-hour monitoring centre to provide an “exceptional level” of reassurance. Other clients will only need the basic ability to raise the alarm for help, according to the local authority.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness, Cllr Darren Sanders (pictured above), said: “There are many benefits to people staying in their own homes for as long as possible, and the technology which Safe at Home provides is an important part of achieving this.

“The past two years have shown us that there is a strong case to equip people’s homes with alarms, sensors and detectors which allows them to live independently without losing touch with people who are able to provide them the care they need when they need that help.”

The Safe at Home website can receive expressions of interest until 1 April 2022, and then orders can be directly placed for the equipment and home safety visits.

Portsmouth City Council says that no existing telecare service users are having their care arrangements changed as a result of the transition to Safe at Home.

The digital telecare service will begin on 1 April 2022, when new contracts with equipment and alarm monitoring centre providers begins.

To find out more about the telecare analogue switch-off in 2025, the benefits of digital telecare services, and what this all means for service users and providers, read a recent and insightful AT Today guest article by Richard Parkinson, Director of FarrPoint here.

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