Community Alarm Service (Factsheet 011)
Community alarms provide an emergency telephone link for older and disabled people.
The alarm allows someone to get in touch with medical and emergency services quickly and reliably, even if they aren't able to get to the telephone or aren't able to speak.
The purpose of the alarm is to give added security to the user or to provide reassurance for their informal carer.
Users of the service have a community alarm unit installed in their home, which is connected to the telephone line. This unit is radio controlled by a pendant that is worn around the neck or attached to clothing. If the user has a fall or for some other reason needs help, he or she presses a button on the pendant. It sends out a signal to the telephone which contacts the Community Alarm Service Control Centre.
The Community Alarm Service Control Centre is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Staff at the centre have database information on the user's name and address, doctor, medical history. They also have the names and telephone numbers of people - relatives, friends or neighbours - who have keys to the user's home and are available to help in an emergency. If a relative, friend or neighbour is unable to help out, then the operator will contact one of the emergency services.
Anyone who thinks that they may benefit from the peace of mind provided can apply for a Community Alarm. People may apply in their own right or on behalf of a relative for example.
There is a flat rate charge applicable for the provision of a community alarm. This is currently £100 per year. For people in receipt of pension credit or income support this charge is reduced to £75 per year.
Anyone who is in receipt of a social services domiciliary care package (or a Direct Payment in lieu of such a package) will receive the basic lifeline service free of charge.
Note: These costs apply from 1st July 2011 until further notice.
The annual charge includes the initial provision and installation of the community alarm equipment, periodic upgrading of equipment as required for technical reasons, connection to the call centre and associated fees, routine maintenance of equipment, including battery replacement and a 365 day repair service.
Note: The charge does not include the cost of any calls made or line rental charges. These will continue to be billed by your telephone service provider in the usual way.
You can choose to be sent an invoice, either quarterly or annually, or to pay by direct debit over ten months.
We will give you more information about payment when your alarm is supplied.
You can apply directly to Social Services yourself either by telephone or in writing. If you prefer, you could ask your carer, GP, hospital staff, or Health Visitor to get in touch on your behalf.
To apply for an alarm from Social Services, please contact:
Community Alarm Service
Tel: 01792 648999
When you are in touch with Social Services, we will keep information about you in written records and computer files. We will keep this information confidential, except where we need to share it with people providing you with care, or to protect you or other people.
You have a right to ask to see records we keep about you.
We can give you more information about how we handle personal information.
We welcome any comments about our services - good or bad. We are interested to hear how we could do things better, and we like to know when we are doing well.
If you are unhappy with the services you receive, we encourage you to make a complaint. Full details are given in the leaflet ' Making a comment, complaint or compliment about Social Services.' For more advice or information about making a complaint, you can contact our Complaints Officers on 01792 637345.
This information is also available in alternative formats, such as large print, on audio CD, in Braille, or electronically. Please phone 01792 636693 for copies.
Factsheet: 011/ June 2013/ v.7