A recent article on TelecareAware highlighted the looming crisis within the social housing sector in relation to the provision of careline services. This ties in very nicely with our previous blog Private Market Careline Services.
It seems there maybe yet another reason for people having to turn to the private sector for careline alarm services. Social housing providers who accommodate elderly people or those with various medical conditions have until now relied upon the Supporting People Fund to provide the finances required to supply a careline service to their residents. Since April 2013 funding via this fund has been cut off and is presenting real financial challenges to housing providers as they juggle the moral dilemma of either removing the equipment or offering to continue the service but being funded by the client user.
For example the Liverpool Echo reported recently that older people in the region were at risk of losing their careline alarm service due to the reduction in the Councils “Supporting People Grant” of £450,000. A representative from VNC, who provide the alarms said that “to have to go and take the alarms out makes us feel very cruel”, with some clients saying they are having to make a choice between either keeping up with gas and electricity payments or paying for an alarm.
As highlighted in our previous blog, many Councils are increasing their charges, out sourcing their 24/7 monitoring and certainly not investing funds allocated by the NHS for Social Services.
So it seems that more and more people will be sourcing careline services through private companies in the future. Coupled with Direct Payments from Social Services, people now actually have a real choice as to where they obtain their careline alarms from.