South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) recently undertook a project to migrate its community alarm customers to a digital telecare solution. 2025 will see BT turn off its ageing analogue network for good as the UK embraces a fully digital network. The transition is already well underway – as soon as next year, BT will stop selling analogue lines.
Many existing community alarms may not work once customers are transferred to a digital telephone line without an upgrade to the alarm equipment. Digital telecare offers more reliable, secure, and cost-efficient telecare solutions. By upgrading it is possible to provide huge benefits to a rapidly growing population of older people in the UK.
In order to comply with this digital technology transition, SLC required the purchase of digital alarm units for installation in service users’ homes, to be carried out in a phased approach. They have approximately seven thousand community alarms in use, so the project represented a significant financial and implementation investment by the Council.
A key component to SLC successfully transitioning from the current analogue system to a digital telecare solution was the technology installed in service users’ homes. It needed to be able to provide a reliable and effective connection to the community alarm service. Careium won the direct award contract by being able to demonstrate the efficacy of its inhome telecare equipment and provide assurance and confidence that it could effectively deliver across the Council’s geographically diverse area.
We have built a strong working relationship and effective partnership with Careium and have found them to be very responsive and supportive as we move forward with our digital telecare transformation programmeJill O’Boyle, Technology Enabled Care Service Manager, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership
Equipment was required to have dual analogue and digital functionality where remote switching between the two formats could be delivered at a later date. It also needed to use SCAIP (Social Care Alarm Internet Protocol) and for the devices to be compatible and interoperable with all UK digital Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) technologies.
Furthermore, South Lanarkshire were impressed by the functionality, ease of use and cost savings of the Careium cloud-based device management platform (DMP) i-Care® online which offers 24/7 status checks and remote programming options.
Soumen Sengupta, Director of Health and Social Care for South Lanarkshire added “Embracing the benefits of digital technology for the benefit of local communities is a priority for South Lanarkshire Council. Care services and the teams that deliver them continue to be faced with significant challenges – and the effective deployment of appropriate digital solutions is a crucial element in our meeting those challenges and the very real needs of the people we serve.”
The Council will initially purchase 6,500 devices from Careium which have been successfully tested, unlocking further opportunity for additional telecare peripherals that can meet
customers’ needs. The equipment will be rolled out over the next 18 months, at 300 rising to 400 alarms per month. The first 3,000 social alarms are Careium CareIPs, a hybrid solution with both analogue and digital communication available via GSM (Mobile) connectivity. This allows for digital ready installations to start now in good time for the switchover whilst SLC investigate digital platform options. It is intended to adopt the digital only Eliza S which has 4G in addition to 2G & 3G for the remaining 3,500 units when the digital platform is available.