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Consultation to change community alarms and telecare

Published: 19 November 2018

We're launching a consultation on changing how older and vulnerable people are supported to live at home today (Monday 19 November 2018).

Residents will be asked for their views on proposed changes to who is eligible to receive free community alarms and telecare services.

Around 5,000 older and vulnerable people currently use the technology we fund, which provides 24-hour monitoring.

With savings of £12 million to make this year, we have to ensure all our services are as efficient as possible, offer value for money and support people most in need.

Members of our Cabinet approved the launch of a 10-week consultation which will start on Monday 19 November 2018.

Letters will be sent to everyone who currently receives community alarms or telecare services with a questionnaire which they will be invited to fill it in.

Residents will also be able to complete it online.

Events will also be held around the county for residents, families and carers to ask questions and give feedback.

These will be held from 10:30am to midday on:

  • Monday 26 November 2018 at Buxton Methodist Church, Chapel Street
  • Tuesday 4 December 2018 at St Thomas Centre, Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield
  • Friday 7 December 2018 at Room 10, Strutt Centre, Derby Road, Belper
  • Monday 10 December 2018 at Lady Whitworth Room, Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale
  • Tuesday 11 December 2018 at Ilkeston Library, Market Place
  • Wednesday 12 December 2018 at Oaklands Village, Hall Farm Road, Swadlincote
  • Friday 14 December 2018 at Clay Cross Social Centre, Market Street, Clay Cross
  • Monday 17 December 2018 at Assembly Hall Community Centre, Hilltop, Bolsover

People will need to book their place by contacting us tel: 01629 531307 or email:

Our Cabinet Member for Adult Care Councillor Jean Wharmby said:

“We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible which is why we’re writing to everyone who receives the service.

“We’re committed to supporting older people to live independently at home but as demand on our services increases, we must ensure we’re using our resources effectively and supporting those people who need us most.”

The consultation will ask for people’s views on:

  • continuing to provide community alarm and telecare equipment free of charge to everyone but service monitoring and maintenance charges may be paid for by the client following a financial assessment
  • changing the criteria so that only people who are assessed as being eligible to receive services under the Care Act 2014 receive community alarms and telecare services for free
  • people who currently receive housing benefit or pension credit may remain eligible to receive community alarms and telecare services for free but only if they meet the Care Act 2014 criteria - following the assessment there may be a requirement for them to pay towards these services
  • people will be assessed to see if they need to contribute towards on-going monitoring and maintenance costs - some people may be able to use their personal budget to pay for the service
  • self-funding clients who are not eligible for financial support and who have been provided with telecare equipment free of charge would be required to pay the full costs of monitoring and maintenance
  • if a self-funding client becomes eligible for financial support under the Care Act 2014 they could use their personal budget to pay for on-going monitoring and maintenance
  • telecare and community alarm equipment and monitoring would be provided free for people – whether eligible under the Care Act or not – for a period of 6 weeks to enable them to return home from hospital - if they were subsequently assessed as needing the equipment it would be under the terms listed

The closing date for the consultation is Friday 25 January 2019. No decisions will be made until our Cabinet has considered the responses.