East Renfrewshire Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to introduce a fully digital, Cloud-based platform for handling its community alarm system.

Telecare, also known as a community alarm, provides a link from a resident's home to a 24-hour response centre based within a community safety control room.

The alarm allows the user to call for help in an emergency at the touch of a button.

The local authority is responsible for the call handling of East Renfrewshire's Telecare Service, whilst the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) manage the response team who attend the user's home when the alarm is raised.

By 2025, telephone companies in the UK are switching off analogue telephone services and replacing them with digital internet-based technology. So, in order to enable the local authority to continue to provide the Telecare call handling service to over 3,000 residents, sourcing compatible and future-proof call centre technology was vital.

Council leader Owen O’Donnell said: “To allow us to migrate our customers over to digital alarms, we needed to change the alarm call handling solution to one that was Cloud-based and fully digital.

"It had to be able to receive digital calls from a wide variety of digital alarms without needing to use the soon-to-be-obsolete analogue phone lines.

"It’s fantastic that East Renfrewshire is leading the way in introducing this technology to ensure a seamless transition to this new digital service.”

Partnering with Enovation – a leading European provider which is involved in monitoring the wellbeing of over 1.4 million telecare users – the council has now replaced its SafetyNet alarm receiving centre.

All of East Renfrewshire’s telecare users are already switched over to the new alarm call handling solution, allowing a phased changeover to digital devices in residents’ homes to be completed before the 2025 switch-off date.

Telecare users will be supported to transfer to a digital service as, even if the home does not have a digital phone line or broadband, the team will utilise SIM cards to ensure access to the telecare service.

Service users and their relatives have been contacted over the past year to let them know about the change and how it will affect them.

If you or someone you know is a telecare user and there has been a change to your phone or internet service, or if you have any concerns, call 0141 800 7192 or activate the alarm, to enable the team to help.

If you think you or a loved one could benefit from Telecare, go to eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/telecare.