Confusion over phone bill endangers man (UK)

From the Liverpool Echo: “Peter Mohan, 79, lives in sheltered accommodation in Litherland and suffers from debilitating stomach and intestinal conditions. When he was confused about what he thought were duplicated phone bills and didn’t pay one of them, phone provider Virgin stopped him from making any personal calls. But he when he developed severe pain he was shocked to find that his Lifeline system…had also ceased to work.” Elderly Litherland man left in pain after phone-cut off disables emergency care alarm.

The housing and phone providers are trying to make sure it does not happen again. Could no one have planned to prevent it happening in the first place?

1 thought on “Confusion over phone bill endangers man (UK)

  1. I think the short answer to what you are proposing is Yes but in reality No. No is the current state.

    No because…..
    Data protection; two seperate service providers (possibly three – landlord, monitoring centre, phone company); no interoperability; volume of users; who informs who of what; [b]community alarms only able to alert if the electricity is off/interrupted and not if the line is disconnected[/b]. All this adds up to a great big mess of information sharing which is not even in place in departments within the same organisation let alone with external providers.

    Yes because…….
    An easy flag on someone’s number at the telephone company would alert them that this is a vulnerable person and then they can use the telephone (before they cut them off) to talk to the person to ascertain the situation. The easy flag could be based on the person’s age as one marker and/or a question ‘do you have a pendant alarm?’; ‘do you have care and support at home?’.

    By doing it the Yes way the issue around information sharing does not come into it as it is purely info between the user and the company. Company to company/organisation/local authority do then not come into it.

    Telecoms providers take note; please.

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