Digital telecare in housing relates to warden call systems, dispersed telecare alarm systems and bespoke digital systems that enable information to be shared with on-site staff, an off-site Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), trusted people or a combination of all three.
In 2017, British Telecom announced that by 2025 the existing analogue telephone network will be switched off and everyone will be moved to a digital internet protocol (IP) voice service delivered over the internet.
Digital telecare removes the reliance on analogue connectivity and signalling protocols, instead using digital connections and signalling protocols. This allows telecare services to be transferred from analogue to digital on a ‘like-for-like’ basis.
Craig O’Donnell outlines the implications of the analogue switch off, why it’s important for housing organisations to act now and the help available from the Digital Telecare Team.
What are the implications for housing?
Around 45,000 customers currently receive telecare services from their housing provider. Housing providers delivering these services will be directly impacted by the UK-wide All-IP programme in relation to provision in sheltered, retirement and extra care communities. The move to digital telecare provides a significant increase in the flexibility, capability and capacity of telecare equipment and the connection between a user’s home and the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). This provides the opportunity to:
- improve the efficiency of telecare delivery
- widen the range of telecare services offered to users
- integrate telecare with other health and care services.
Impact of switch over
Benefits and Opportunities
The Analogue to Digital Telecare Programme
Linstone Housing Association – The Journey to Digital Telecare
Maureen Richardson, Digital Transformation Officer, Linstone Housing Association
Additional Help and support
The Digital Telecare Team is supporting social landlords (local authorities and registered social landlords) with the transition from analogue to digital telecare services.
Digital Telecare Team, Digital Office for Scottish Local Government.
The Digital Telecare site is packed full of resources, including a Digital Telecare Playbook that includes a specific pathway for housing providers. Registration for the Playbook is quick and simple. Go to https://telecare.digitaloffice.scot
Digital Telecare events
Three Digital Telecare online events took place between March and May 2021. These brought together housing experts, Scottish Government representatives and suppliers.