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Assistive technology

Using community alarm/assistive technology

The Community Alarm/Assistive Technology Service is a 24/7 service, provided by South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership (SLHSCP). It is suitable for anyone living in South Lanarkshire who is considered to be vulnerable and is assessed as requiring a service to promote independence, safety and security within their home. 

Following the assessment, the Service will provide the installation, review, response and removal of equipment when it is no longer required. 

Most equipment provided by SLHSCP is fitted by mobile responders or Care and Repair Technicians and support is available for emergency repairs. 

All agencies will aim to contact you beforehand to arrange an appropriate date and time for installation. If for any reason you can no longer be present at the time arranged, please contact care and repair on 01555 666200 to reschedule.

Please note Community Alarm staff will not enter a property to install, repair or uplift equipment without you or your representative being present.

Personal information

In order to provide the best service possible and the most appropriate response, we will hold the following information on our secure, password protected computerised systems:

  • your name, preferred name, name of other residents within your home, date of birth, address, telephone number, tenure type, relevant medical information, GP’s contact details, next of kin/family contact details, risk information, type of equipment/date of installation, how staff access your home, (by keys or key safe including key safe number), any special arrangements, ability to communicate
  • we will hold information on who is to respond, for example community alarm responder or carer/family/neighbour

Personal information such as your name, address and contact phone number will generally only be shared with those fitting your equipment along with those responding to this. Prior consent will usually be agreed verbally. Your information will only be shared with other agencies, such as the police, in situations where it is assessed as being in your best interests and no other course of action would be sufficient to ensure your safety.

Please be aware that all emergency calls to the monitoring centre are voice recorded for your safety, security and staff training purposes.

Changes to personal information or named contacts

It is your responsibility to inform the Community Alarm Telecare Service of any changes to your personal details or named contact information. A relative or key contact can do this on your behalf. It is imperative that a responder is able to phone a key contact to gain access in an urgent and efficient manner, both for yourself and other users of the service.

Operating instructions

At the time of installation, the technician will demonstrate the equipment to you or your carer/key contact and will complete a test to ensure it is working properly before leaving.

  • to activate your alarm, press your pendant or the button on the base unit. Upon pressing this button, it should take no more than 90 seconds to connect to the call handler
  • if you are unable to hear the responder wait 10 seconds after pressing before speaking as loudly and clearly as possible to inform what has happened and what support you need
  • if the call handler hears no response from you, they will contact your provided key contacts or send a mobile responder
  • if you press your button accidentally, wait until the call handler speaks to you and inform that this was pressed in error. They will cancel the call
  • if you have a hands free/portable phone within your home, ensure it is always returned to its cradle as if this depletes its battery, your alarm may not be operational

Planned and unplanned response

Unplanned/emergency visit - if your alarm is activated and the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) get no response; they will regard this as ‘no voice contact'. The ARC will phone your home landline telephone, if there is no response; they will phone the first named keyholder you provided to alert them to your alarm activation or to request they provide access to our responders. Keysafe access may be used by our responders if you do not have a local keyholder.

In the event of an emergency; if your named key contacts do not answer or you have not provided keysafe details and there are concerns for your wellbeing, an emergency joiner and any emergency service that is deemed to be required will be called to assist and this may lead to forced entry. Your property will be secured after the community alarm telecare member of staff has left your home, however SLHSCP will not be held responsible for the costs associated with this or any damage to your home.

Please ensure that you remove your key(s) and any door chain or bolt after locking your door(s). This will ensure that your key holders or the responders (if you have a keysafe) can access the property in the event of an emergency.

Planned visit - the ARC will usually try to speak to you through your community alarm to establish if you require any supports. A responder may be dispatched if you require assistance or you may prefer the ARC to contact one of your key contacts.

Equipment ownership

The community alarm service is provided on the basis of your assessed needs. This equipment is provided and owned by SLHSCP. If you no longer require the equipment please phone: 0800 24 20 24 (Monday-Friday 08:45-16:45 hrs) and we will arrange a suitable time/date to uplift. Alternatively, press the call button on the community alarm device to inform call handlers that you plan to disconnect the equipment, unplug and please contact your locality Care at Home team to make suitable arrangements to hand this in. Please call 0303 123 1008, press option 1 for home care and press the option number provided for your locality.

Faults and repairs

You are encouraged to test your alarm equipment regularly (at least every 4 weeks) to ensure that it is working correctly.

The equipment will automatically alert the Response Centre when batteries are getting low and we will arrange to have them replaced. Please do not try to change batteries yourself as this could reset your unit and disconnect it from the network and compromising the reliability.

The alarm may bleep if there is disruption to the telephone line or electricity supply.

If you think there is a fault with your equipment please contact the ARC on 0800 24 20 24 and we will arrange for someone to visit.

Payment

The equipment is provided to you on a loan basis and remains the property of the SLHSCP. This will be installed and maintained by the council free of charge, however, there is a small weekly charge to cover call monitoring and response services.

At the time of commencement of your service:

  • the charge is £1.70 per week
  • this will be issued as an annual account but is subject to annual change
  • you will be given notice and advised of any changes by letter
  • payment details are supplied on the reverse of your bill
  • there is an additional charge for each activation of your community alarm (including low battery activations)
  • this is charged through your phone provider
  • you will receive a letter within 3 weeks advising of payment information

Service withdrawal

SLHSCP reserves the right to withdraw the community alarm service. This happens very rarely and would be for reasons such as:

  • verbal or physical abuse of staff members
  • vandalism of equipment
  • misuse of the service

Service standards

SLHSCP strive to achieve and maintain a quality community alarm service. This is an area of ongoing development and from time to time we may contact you to seek feedback about the service we provide to you. This feedback allows us to develop our service to meet the requirements of its users and we would be very grateful for your assistance with this.

Complaints

If you are unhappy regarding any aspect of the service please in the first instance contact your allocated worker or alternatively the Team Leader of the Alarm Receiving Centre, by post:

South Lanarkshire HSCP
24 Hour Control Centre
Pollock Avenue
Hamilton
ML3 9SZ

or by telephone: 0800 24 20 24

If you are still dissatisfied please follow the process outlined in our complaints procedure

Other useful information:

What is a Mobile Responder?
A Mobile Responder is a South Lanarkshire Council Home Carer who is trained in dealing with emergency situations and can be despatched by the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to visit and provide support to you in your home.

Who are the call handlers?
Call handlers are trained phone operators who have instant access to your personal details provided by you during the assessment process. They will speak to you via the alarm unit in your home and attempt to offer assistance verbally where possible and will quickly aim to generate the appropriate response for you.

What happens in the event of a power cut or phone line malfunction?
All alert alarms are fitted with a back up battery. Should your power fail, the battery backup with automatically activate. This will allow your alert alarm to remain functional for up to 48 hours. After this time, the battery life may deplete.
In the event of a phone line malfunction, an automatic notification will be sent from your device to the control centre to advise that the equipment has experienced a ‘hand-shake failure’. The ARC will try to contact you using the contact details you provided at the time of installation. If this is unsuccessful and we know you to be vulnerable, we will arrange for a responder to visit and guide you to seek help until phone line is able to be repaired.

How long will I wait for a responder to be with me?
SLC are unable to guarantee a defined time scale for responders to attend your property. They will be informed of any incident that requires their attendance immediately and they will be dispatched to you as soon as possible. All alerts are prioritised and dependent on the demand and travel conditions at any given time. The ARC will advise you if they are aware that the responder may be delayed in responding to your call however this is not always known at the time of the call.

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