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Falkirk Council switches telecare to digital


Mark Say Managing Editor


Falkirk Council has set up an end-to-end digital telecare service, saying it is first local authority in Scotland to do so.

MECS alarm box

It has worked with the Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership to replace its analogue system of Mobile Emergency Care Service (MECS) alarms with pre-programmed digital units under its Analogue to Digital Telecare project.

The council said it has so far provided about 4,000 of the new units and aims to install another 3,200 by the end of the year.

This comes in advance of the planned switch-off of analogue phone lines by 2025.

Before full implementation the technology was tested on a group of low risk clients.

Falkirk has also worked with Chubb Systems to deploy a digital alarm receiving centre to respond to respond to alerts from MECS personal alarms and sensors on a 24/7 basis.

Need for confidence

Project manager Ian Whitelaw said: “Our clients should feel confident that the service they rely on to live independently at home is not only cutting edge, but also more secure and more reliable than ever before. Our focus now is to build on our digital ambitions, offering new choices and services that will help them lead independent lives for as long as possible.”

The council and partnership have won the Gold Level 1 Digital Telecare Implementation Award from the Digital Telecare for Scottish Local Government Programme for the project.

Image: MECS box, from Falkirk Council

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