Renfrewshire Council

Renfrewshire Technology Enabled Care Service (Community Alarm and Telecare)

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The technology enabled care service assists people living in Renfrewshire who need some extra support to live in their own homes with the security of knowing that they can call for assistance in an emergency, such as a fall or an illness at any time of the day or night by activating an alarm unit connected to their phone line. Alarm calls are triaged by our alarm receiving centre.

The service operates 365 days per year and is available to any Renfrewshire resident. Referral is via self referral or assessed referrals via Health & Social care professionals where a resident has been assessed as being at risk due to age and/or disability and/or social circumstances.

The service has a dedicated responder team that respond to all activation calls 24/7 every day of the year. If preferred activation calls can be routed directly to a family or carer as an alternative to a responder response.

How does it work?

We install a community alarm unit by connecting it to a telephone line in the person's home. The alarm is activated by either pressing the button on the alarm unit or the pendant worn by the person, this button can be worn on a wrist strap or on a neck cord and is waterproof.

Where possible we will place the alarm unit in a central point within the home in order to make the best of the two way speech system.

The alarm requires a modern telephone socket and a 13 amp electrical socket. These sockets require to be situated on the same wall. When the person activates the alarm, a signal is sent via the telephone line to our alarm receiving centre which is staffed 24 hours per day. Our alarm receiving centre can speak to the person and find out what kind of assistance is required. Please note that all activations will incur a call cost to the telephone account holder.

There is a number of ways we can provide help or assistance depending on the information that has been given:

  • Send our responder team to assist you
  • Contact a family member or friend
  • Contact your GP / NHS24 or emergency services
  • Provide reassurance via the alarm receiving centre

Who can benefit from the installation of technology enabled care?

There are many different reasons why someone may need a community alarm or a telecare installation. Here are a few examples of some groups of people who have benefited from a community alarm / telecare package:

  • Those who are vulnerable or at risk
  • Those who are frail
  • Those with mobility issues
  • Those at risk of falling
  • Those with learning disabilities
  • Those with disabilities
  • Those with sensory impairments
  • Those who live alone

What is telecare?

Community alarm installations can be enhanced to provide automatic calls without the person having to activate the alarm on the unit or press the wrist /neck worn pendant.

Discreet sensors are programmed to the alarm unit that can send an alarm call automatically once a real time emergency has been identified. Telecare sensors are used to monitor for environmental risks such as smoke, floods, personal risks such as falls, dementia, confusion and learning disabilities.

Activations from these sensors connect 24/7 to the alarm receiving centre and result in a response from the responder team, emergency services or if requested can be directed to a family member/carer if this is preferred to a responder service.

Telecare enhanced installations are assessed by the Telecare Service Coordinator and are based on the service users' individual needs and a tailor made installation designed around the risk factors specific to the service user.

Telecare Sensors available

The following sensors are available and can be used in certain situations where a particular need has been identified:

  • Pendant - Personal radio trigger supplied with a standard community alarm installation. This sensor is waterproof and can be worn in the shower

  • Smoke Detector - For use where it has been identified that someone is at risk from fire, through cooking issues or smoking. Also beneficial where mobility or sensory impairment can restrict being able to exit a property (calls normally result in the deployment of the fire brigade)

  • Heat Detector - For use where it has been identified that someone is at risk from temperature extremes. Usually used in a kitchen to identify if a cooker has been left on

  • Flood Detector - Used to detect water spillage i.e. forgetting to turn taps off

  • Fall Detector - Used for people mobilising during the day with epilepsy/ mobility issues/Dementia or confusion

  • Bed Sensor - Used to detect when a service user gets out of bed during the night and fails to return after a specified period of time has elapsed. The installation can be set up to call the alarm receiving centre for a service user who lives alone or if requested call the mobile phone of a partner / carer who lives in the property as part of a carer assist solution

  • Pressure Mat - Used for people with Dementia who may be at risk when getting out of bed during the night. Can be used as a carer assist solution to identify if a partner is awake and moving around the home

  • Pill Dispenser - Provides an effective solution to support medication compliance by automatically dispensing medication and providing audible and visual alerts as to each time medication should be taken

  • PIR Sensor - PIR sensors can be installed to monitor "inactivity". Sensors are programmed to identify periods of non movement. Used for Diabetics who live alone who may be at risk of falling into diabetic hypo

  • Door Contacts - For use when there is evidence of someone going out at inappropriate times e.g. during the night
  • One Touch - A GPS safe walking device (to support safe walking in the community, allowing families to stay connected)
  • I-Care - A movement assessment tool to record activity within your home via the website (installed for a 4 week period)

Renfrewshire Technology Enabled Care Service - Platinum Accredited Service

Renfrewshire have been accredited to the Telecare Services Association since 2005 and are proud to be the first Scottish organisation to hold and retain this accreditation. The TSA accreditation involves annual audits to ensure that Renfrewshire service users are receiving a robust, quality service that delivers the highest standards.

What is TSA Platinum Accreditation?

TSA Code of Practice Platinum Accredited Organisation

Renfrewshire Technology Enabled Care Service is a Code of Practice Platinum Accredited member of TSA, the industry body for Technology Enabled Care (TEC), representing the largest industry specific network in Europe and bringing together a growing membership of organisations across local government, health and the private sector.

Renfrewshire Technology Enabled Care Service is delivering telecare services at the highest possible level and meeting the highest possible standards since becoming platinum accredited to the TSA Integrated Code of Practice in 2012 with:

  • Referral
  • Telecare Plan
  • Installation
  • Response
  • Service User Profiling
  • Service Tailoring
  • Re-evaluation

The code has been written to respond to the challenges of an evolving health and social care system, and in support of national frameworks and priorities including the National Telehealth and Telecare Delivery Plan for Scotland to 2015; 3million lives, one of six high impact innovations for England; Transforming Your Care; A Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland December 2011 and The Strategy for Older People in Wales (Phase Three) 2013-2023.

Renfrewshire Technology Enabled Care Service has achieved platinum TSA code accreditation status for all elements of the service it provides, and accreditation for all of its relevant services to the European Technical Specification for Social Alarms - DD CLC/TS 50134-7.

TSA works in collaboration with health, housing and social care through a wide range of public services (NHS, local authorities, Fire and Rescue Services), housing associations, leading industry suppliers, independent and voluntary sector organisations.

TSA promotes and supports the technology enabled care industry, highlighting the benefits of TEC for commissioners across health and social care, service users, their family and carers including organising the annual International Technology Enabled Care Conference.

How much does the service cost?

From the 1 April 2020 the weekly charge for your TEC community alarm charge will be £3.55 per week, an annual invoice will be sent to you. Payments of the annual charge can be spread over the full year, if you would prefer to pay in instalments please contact the Finance Recovery Team on 0141 618 2547 or by email  at

If you require we can arrange for the bill to be sent to a family member.

How do I get an alarm?

If you would like to be assessed for a community alarm / enhanced telecare you should contact the Adult Services Referral Team and details will be taken of your name, address, next of kin and 2 key holders who live within Renfrewshire.

Don't worry if you do not have anyone to nominate as a contact or key holder, the service can take on this role for you. You will be asked for details of your doctor and your medical conditions.

Staff are always happy to help.