3 thoughts on “Telecare in the UK – to charge or not to charge?

  1. Charging for telecare
    Charging for telecare seems inevitable given the impending public spending cuts. However, there is a danger that pitching the charges too high will stifle the adoption of telecare in its infancy, setting developments back by some years.

  2. Charging
    It is difficult for RSL’s to agree funding regimes with LA, especailly setting up telecare in sheltered schemes, Tenants already pay for scheme managers and monitoring service, funding by SP, it would be good for this to be worked on nationally together with Local Authorities and RSL’s

  3. Charging and home telecare

    I think it extremely unlikely that LAs and RSLs will be able to work out any sort of national agreement for telecare charges. One problem is that eligibility for sheltered housing is now so variable – in some places the (lower) age limit is only 50. It follows that the percentage of tenants who actually “need” telecare (or even a community alarm) has been dropping for the past 20 years. This is at a time when eligibility for all community services (including telecare) commissioned by a local authority have being reduced so that only the most needy can access them.

    Secondly, RSLs have been free to choose their own community alarm equipment with potentially little thought given to the preference (or the specification) of the council’s telecare service. The lack of interoperability between equipment from different suppliers (both within the home and in monitoring centres) will inevitably lead to further areas of disagreement a factor which will cause many RSLs and councils to abandon community alarm schemes altogether in sheltered schemes, moving over to a more flexible model of individual and more intelligent carephones. Unfortunately, this approach also falls down when tenants choose to give up their fixed lines and to rely on a “pay-as-you-go mobile”.

    Home telecare in the future must be more flexible, allowing service users to choose how they are connected to the outside world. When they are obliged to pay for the service, then they will have the right to choose the way that it works. It makes me wonder how long SP funding will survive!

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