Telecare is a service which uses a range of technologies to enable remote monitoring of risks within the home, helping vulnerable people or those with disabilities to remain safe and independent for longer.
In the event a problem is detected, these sensors, alarms and detectors raise an alert to the Telecare monitoring centre, which can then get the help that is needed.
The Response Service was introduced in 2016 to support Telecare customers and help reduce demand on 999 services in non medical emergency situations. It is currently delivered by West Midlands Fire Service, with trauma trained firefighters attending to over 7,000 people in that time.
With West Midlands Fire Service’s 3 year contract due to expire next month, the City of Wolverhampton Council has commissioned St John Ambulance to deliver the Response Service from 3 April.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Telecare plays a vital role in helping people to live more independently, providing peace of mind and reassurance to Telecare customers and their families, some of whom may live many miles away.
“The Response Service is a key part of the overall package, helping to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital and enabling people to feel even more safe and secure in their own homes.
“We are very pleased to be able to continue to deliver this important element of the service and are looking forward to working with St John Ambulance in Wolverhampton.
“We would like to thank West Midlands Fire Service for the excellent support they have provided over the last three years.”
St John Ambulance Sector Manager Sue Wheeler said: "St John Ambulance are excited to be working in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton Homes and the Telecare service to provide vital support to local people.
“This gives us an opportunity to contribute to community resilience and ensure that people are supported and safe in their own homes."
More than 5,200 people in Wolverhampton currently receive the Telecare service, which is provided by Wolverhampton Homes on behalf of the City of Wolverhampton Council. It is available to everyone, with packages to suit a range of requirements and budgets. They are:
- Level 1 (£3 per week): The standard Telecare service comprising of an alarm unit, pendant, keysafe and smoke detector. This universal service is available to people who have two responders who hold a key to their property and agree to respond to an emergency at any time. They could be a family member, neighbour or friend
- Level 2 (£5 per week): As Level 1, but including access to the Telecare Response Service provided by St John Ambulance which will visit the customer’s property as required
- Level 3 (£7 per week): As Level 1, but with a range of additional Telecare detectors and sensors appropriate to the customer’s needs. Like Level 1, this service is available to people who have two responders - either a family member, neighbour, carer or friend - who agree to respond to an emergency call as required
- Level 4 (£9 per week): As level 3, but with access to the Telecare Response Service
In addition, Telecare is free to people in receipt of certain benefits and free during a period of reablement support or to prevent a hospital admission.