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Falkirk Council deploys end-to-end digital telecare

Council has become the first in Scotland to go live with a complete digital telecare service for its local residents

Falkirk Council has gone live with a digital telecare service, replacing analogue alarm systems in vulnerable residents’ homes.

The council’s telecare services previously relied on analogue phone lines, but the decision to go with a digital system comes as all telecommunication providers in Scotland plan to switch off all analogue lines by 2025.

The council has worked with Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure that its life and limb Mobile Emergency Care Service (MECS), which has traditionally relied on phone lines, is digitally enabled.

The service provides home and personal alarms to about 4,000 vulnerable residents in the area, and should a resident activate an alarm, it alerts the control centre for help. So far, 20% of residents have been switched to a fully digital service, with the rest due to be completed by the end of 2021.

MECS team manager Pauline Waddell said the service had received the Gold Level 1 Digital Telecare Implementation Award by the Digital Telecare for Scottish Local Government programme.

“Becoming the first council in Scotland to not only go live with an end-to-end digital telecare offering but also achieve recognition for it, is testament to the hard work undertaken to safeguard the critical service by all those involved in the project,” she said.

“It is only through their innovative thinking, collaborative working and quick decision-making that the digital transformation of this service has got to this stage.”

The project is one of 23 the council is undertaking in its plan to modernise and improve services. It aims to identify new ways of working and new service delivery models built around innovation and improve its digital infrastructure.

Scottish local government chief digital officer Martyn Wallace said the digital telecare system “enables them to confidently progress further on their journey and continue to share their learnings with other telecare service providers as leaders in the field”.

Read more about Scotland and technology

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  • Scotland’s innovation minister talks to Computer Weekly about the country’s new digital strategy, the importance of inclusion, and why the strategy is underpinned by ethical thinking.

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