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Community Alarm and Telecare Update

Analogue lines are currently being phased out across the UK and will be switched off by the end of 2025. This means that new digital equipment will need to be installed in service users’ homes in order to continue the service once this happens.

The way that NAC Community Alarm and Telecare systems connect is changing.

Do you have a Community Alarm and/or Telecare service installed in your home, or do you have friends, neighbours or family members who do?

North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is asking all staff who work with users of these services – or who have friends or family members who have this equipment installed – to please be aware of the impact that switching their telephone provider could have on their service.

NAHSCP is appealing to all of its Community Alarm and Telecare users to ensure they are aware that the way this equipment connects will be changing.

Currently, Community Alarm and Telecare equipment connects by using an analogue telephone line (plugged into a phone socket in the wall of your home). Analogue lines are being phased out and will be switched off by the end of 2025. This means that new digital equipment will need to be installed in order to continue your service once this happens.

NAHSCP has now purchased digital alarm equipment, and the installation process is already under way. However, rolling out the new equipment to all service users may take some time. All Community Alarm and Telecare service users will receive their new equipment before the analogue lines are switched off.

To prepare for the switch-off of analogue lines, communication providers (such as Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, Sky etc) will be gradually switching telephone lines from analogue to digital, with some providers having already started this process. If a new phone or internet service is installed in your home, or if you change your package, it is likely that your provider will install a digital line rather than an analogue one. This is a problem if you have not yet received your new digital alarm, as your current analogue Community Alarm will not work with a digital line.

Even where you are not looking to change your line, you may still receive a letter from your telephone or internet provider advising you that your line is being changed to a digital one.

If you know someone who is thinking about changing their provider or telephone/internet package, or if their current provider contacts them to advise that they will need to install a digital line in their home, please advise them to let their provider know if the resident has Community Alarm and/or Telecare equipment in their home. The resident should then contact NAHSCP on the number below so that they can be advised on what to do next.

If a family member or friend speaks to you about changing your telephone package on your behalf, please ask them to speak to NAHSCP first before signing up to any changes.

NAHSCP will provide regular updates and keep you informed on when you are likely to receive your new digital alarm equipment.

Councillor Margaret Johnson, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at North Ayrshire Council, added: “As the national phasing out of analogue phone lines is already under way, we want to inform all users of our Telecare and Community Alarm services how this could affect their equipment if they were to switch to a digital line before we are able to install their new digital devices.

“While we have written to all of our service users to provide them with this information, we are aware that family members, friends and neighbours are often involved in the decision-making process when switching providers for household services, so it’s important that we are able to share this message with the general public to raise awareness.

“The safety and well-being of our those using our services is our utmost priority, and we want to ensure that no one finds themselves in a situation where their equipment is no longer working before their new digital alarms are installed.”

For more information, or to let NAHSCP know that a phone/internet package might be changing (in a home that has Telecare or Community Alarm Services), or if you have any concerns that existing Community Alarm/Telecare equipment is not working, please call 01294 310222 and ask to speak to the Community Alarm Care at Home Manager.

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