Age UK personal alarm cover-up claims

Categories: Latest News.

In The Times on Saturday, there was a long-ish item berating Age UK’s Aid Call for being slow to replace 8000 old Tunstall Lifeline alarm units with Tynetec alternatives. 18 months after the problem was identified the change over is apparently not complete. The reason for the upgrade is that, in common with other units of the same age from all manufacturers, backup batteries are coming to the end of their life and they do not alert the call monitoring centre when they are low. Aid Call claims it is changing them as quickly as possible, although The Times reports insiders as being critical of the slow progress. Age UK personal alarm cover-up claims. (Behind The Times’s paywall (£1 for 30 days then £2 a week) referenced in the author David Budworth’s public profile for 29 October.)

Comment: Whether it is a matter, as The Times claims, that has put many people at risk or whether no one has been at risk, as is the Aid Call version, it is frankly hard to tell. If The Times had also flagged up other issues that create much higher risk, such as people not having pendants with them when they need them, or people compromising their lines with incorrect equipment setup or switching their phone accounts to providers that cannot safely support telecare equipment, it might have been more useful. Ed. Steve


  1. Leslie Morson

    I have to say I read this piece on Saturday morning on the iPad, whilst having a coffee in Cafe Nero with my wife. To say I was incensed is perhaps stating it a little too strongly, but it really was a case (in my humble opinion) of a total non story that did a great disservice to any Times reading Aid Call customers raising fears and anxieties totally without cause or justification.

    I actually started to write a posting on the Times website pointing out the error of their ways, when my wife remarked I was frothing more than my Cappuccino and sounding like the archetypal Times reader ‘Outraged of Esher’ I calmed down and switched from the Times app to the Guardian app instead by way of protest.

    Be interested to hear what others thought of the piece.

  2. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Leslie’s expertise and experience in the telecare and telehealth fields and he is an all round good guy! I fully support his view. However, I would never be allowed to divert my attention from my wife while at coffee…with The Times or any other publication!!