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Glasgow City Council latest to Hike Careline Charge

Well, it seems the careline industry has hit the headlines again last week, but sadly for all the wrong reasons! According to an article in the Daily Record, Glasgow City Council has decided to start charging for their telecare service at around £3 a week. They argue that budget constraints mean they cannot sustain a free 24/7 operation. The shock to have to suddenly pay for such services when they have been free for so long is no doubt very distressing for the residents in Glasgow.

Careline Alarm Cut Off

The article highlights 82 year old Agnes, who has survived a number of heart attacks thanks to her careline alarm that she can no longer afford. As highlighted in our previous blog article regarding the crisis in Liverpool and the increase in private telecare providers the story regarding poor Agnes is sadly not unheard of. This is compounded by the news that the council are now writing to those like Agnes who can’t pay to inform them their alarm service is being terminated. The council have just made vulnerable people – more vulnerable. What many find particularly upsetting is that the former boss of the service, David Crawford, has just recently left the council with an alleged payoff of £600,000 prior to the charges being introduced. This is the equivalent of Glasgow Council being able to continue to offer their careline service to 4000 residents for another 12 months for free. Agnes clearly is in dire need of a careline service, in fact, she says that her life has been saved by it at least three times. As one commentator said, how can you put a price on that?

Direct Payments

If you find yourself in a similar situation to Agnes and face increased charges from your Local authority for your careline alarm service, there are a few things you can do: 1. Contact your Social Services Department and ask if you can be assessed to see if you can receive the service for free. 2. You can request a “Direct Payment” option from your Social Services – they can then pay you directly and you can source a careline alarm provider of your choice. TeleCare24 are more than happy to take clients on that receive Direct Payments. In the meantime, that doesn’t help the approximately 1650 people who have cancelled the careline service from Glasgow council since the charges were introduced. There are no doubt other people in a similar situation to Agnes who are now feeling very isolated. It may only be a small thing, but we were touched by Agnes’ predicament. So TeleCare24 has contacted the Daily Record and offered to deliver a new alarm for Agnes and provide the service she needs for free. We’ll keep you posted if we are taken up on the offer!

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