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Financial help for the rising cost of energy TFF JOTJEF GPS EFUBJMT

features... Care & Repair - Government puts ageing firmly on the housing agenda.. Age Concern campaign ‘more money in your pocket’

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_a`fZe iW i[^^ eZSdW i[fZ kag fZW ^SfWef `Wie Xda_ IadUWefWdeZ[dW FW^W5SdW S^a`Y i[fZ Sdf[U^We fZSf iW ZabW kag i[^^ ĂŒ`V [`fWdWef[`Y S`V ZW^bXg^ Firstly we want to say a big THANKYOU for choosing Worcestershire TeleCare to help your clients, patients and people you care about live safe and independent lives. We want to ensure that we are always providing you with an excellent level of service and that means continuing to listen to your views on how we can improve. So, in this issue we have included a Reader Survey for you to complete and send back to us.

The Community Housing Group (TCHG) based in Kidderminster acting on behalf of a consortium of RSL’s, was selected as the preferred bidder to take over the future management and development of the service with effect from 1 April 2008. The other members of the consortium are Festival Housing Group, Rooftop Housing Group and Worcester Community Housing.

We have also featured articles which cover some of the issues that directly affect some of the people you may work with or care for, to enable you to help them live confidently in their own homes. We would love to hear your views so please fill in our survey and tell us some of the issues you would like to see us cover in our newsletter. We hope you enjoy our newsletter and once again, thank you for working with us to provide safe and independent living for all our customers.

5REHUW 5HGPDQ

Head of Worcestershire TeleCare

The local councils will join the partnership with representation on the Board of the new Worcestershire TeleCare Company and will continue to be involved in the wider strategic development of telecare in the community. Commenting on the transfer to The Community Housing Group, Head of Worcestershire TeleCare Robert Redman said ‘This is an exciting and unique development in

Worcestershire bringing together the major RSL’s in a partnership with local Councils. This partnership will build on the existing excellent services and help maintain Worcestershire TeleCare’s position as a leading Telecare service provider in the region.’ Yvonne Leishman, Managing Director of The Community Housing Group said ‘We are excited about Worcestershire TeleCare being part of this new strategic partnership which will build on the reputation of the four Housing Associations for delivering first class, people centred services across the County. The merger will allow further investment in this expanding telecare and support business, providing more opportunities to support our local communities, whilst being efficient and enhancing effective partnership working in the County.’

Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


7

IFBMUIDBSF QSPGFTTJPOBM OFXTMFUUFS SPRING / SUMMER 

More money in your pocket! The cost of living is going up all the

Are they entitled to a reduction in their

time and Age Concern are passionate

Council Tax bill? Age Concern states that

about ensuring older people are claiming

around 2.2 million pensioner households

everything that they are owed. This extra

are missing out on Council Tax Benefit that

money can help pay household bills

could reduce their average council tax bill

and other essentials like food, heating,

by £645 a year (you can read further detail

taxis, petrol, home repairs, equipment,

on this in their information booklet)

gardening, cleaning and care services.

More money in your pocket is a new campaign from Age Concern that ‘does what it says on the tin’ helping older people claim their rightful benefits.

The Age Concern ‘More Money In Your Local Age Concern charities can provide

Pocket’ campaign covers all these issues

a free benefits check or they can put

and many more so if you work with older

individuals in touch with someone else who

or vulnerable people, make sure you

can. They will also help the individual to

phone their free National Information

fill in claim forms and may be able to visit

Line on "*"" "" ++ ((. You can also find

them in their home to do so.

your nearest Age Concern by calling this number or you can visit iii SYWUa`UWd`

Some of the areas that an advisor will

adY g]. By phoning this number or visiting

cover with them will be ensuring that they

this site you can also ask for the Age

are receiving the level of pension they

Concern Information Guides which are free

should be receiving. For example, do they

and cover benefits advice in more depth.

qualify for a pension credit which tops up their weekly income?

Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


6

IFBMUIDBSF QSPGFTTJPOBM OFXTMFUUFS SPRING / SUMMER 

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In turn this has resulted in more isolation for many vulnerable people, leaving them at risk. I see telecare offering a real opportunity for individuals and service providers, in keeping regular communication, giving confidence for people living alone to get on with their lives in the knowledge that support is there if they require it.

Yvonne has worked in housing for 30 years and in 2005 was presented with an OBE for her contributions to Social Housing. Here, she shares with us how she sees the future of telecare and how Worcestershire TeleCare aims to be the leading telecare service provider in the region. 1. Yvonne, what are some of the significant changes you have seen in the world of telecare since you have worked in the social housing environment? The changes in technology have been massive. We have moved from basic press button response systems to integrated interactive aids that reach into every facet of someone’s life. It mirrors the technological leap we have seen in areas such as computers and telephony. 2. How do you see telecare as being key in the provision of social care in our communities? Our communities are changing with growing populations of older and frailer individuals linked to improvements in our environment and health care. We have also seen dramatic social changes with more mobility and spreading of families not just across the UK but across the world.

I see telecare signposting people to other service facilities, which can be provided through professional, statutory and voluntary organisations. 3. What developments in the area of telecare do you see occurring over the next few years and how will this impact the level and quality of social care vulnerable people receive in their own homes? The preventative agenda and growth of telehealth will be a growing area for telecare over the coming period. The expansion of the property and personal sensors for those at risk from falls, dementia or in need of short-term support following hospital admission is an example of this. There will be growth in support services for younger vulnerable people with complex needs, which will enable new service opportunities for independent living. The technology is also becoming quite sophisticated around telehealth with remote monitoring of personal health highlighting problems arising and allowing early intervention and support where required. I expect to see a growth in partnerships with health care providers within the sector over the coming years. The role of telecare in personal security is also growing, whether supporting individuals at risk of domestic violence,

lone workers, or security of personal and business premises 4.How do you see the recent partnership between The Community Housing Group and Worcestershire TeleCare enhancing the service that is provided to vulnerable people and the people that work with them? We are delighted that Worcestershire TeleCare has joined The Community Housing Group and see this as a key opportunity to develop both telecare and complementary Care and Support Services across the region. What makes this unique, is the Partnership between the four Housing Associations: Festival Housing Group, Rooftop Housing Group, Worcester Community Housing and Wyre Forest Sheltered Housing who have formed a consortium to develop and support these services across Worcestershire. We see clear synergy between Worcestershire TeleCare and the four Associations, which will allow us to offer co-ordinated, new and innovative services to residents and businesses supporting vulnerable residents in Worcestershire. 5. At this early stage of the partnership, what is your vision over the next few years for the provision of social care through the telecare services that Worcestershire TeleCare provide? Our vision is to help people lead safe, healthy independent and fulfilling lives in a manner they would choose. Our priorities for the next couple of years will be ensuring that both directly and through our partners that we make access to these services affordable and widely available, tailoring them to suit the individual needs of our customers.

Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


"

IFBMUIDBSF QSPGFTTJPOBM OFXTMFUUFS SPRING / SUMMER 

Did you know? Government puts ageing Worcestershire TeleCare is a premium member of the Telecare Services Association (TSA). This means that all of the telecare services that we provide have to meet stringent standards and are subject to independent annual inspection. Part of our membership means that our services need to achieve a certain level. For example, TSA have set a standard that 80% of our calls should be answered within 30 seconds. Our performance results for 2007/8 reveal that Worcestershire TeleCare answered 89.87% of our calls within 30 seconds, exceeding the target. We can also report that nearly 5% of the calls that we received in that period were due to an emergency and a customer needing urgent assistance.

firmly on the housing agenda National housing charity, Care & Repair, has warmly welcomed ‘Lifetime homes, lifetime Neighbourhoods’ – the governments new strategy for housing an ageing society. Care and Repair England is a national charity that was set up in 1986 by Shelter and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust (hact). Their aim is to improve the housing and living conditions of older and disabled people, particularly for those occupying poor quality private sector housing, thereby enabling them to ‘stay put’ in their own homes in greater comfort and security. Speaking of the new government strategy, Sue Adam, Director of Care & Repair, England, said ‘This strategy challenges everyone concerned with housing, planning, and related services to take the demographic revolution seriously. Older people make up nearly a third of households and 90% live in mainstream housing. This new strategy reflects that reality and recognises the fact that older people are a major and growing force in the housing market.’

To ensure we receive regular feedback from our customers, each month Worcestershire TeleCare distribute quality surveys to a number of clients selected randomly who have activated a call during that month. Over a 12 month period, our results show that of the forms received, nearly 96% were completely satisfied with our service with 2.63% offering no comment. Where a ‘not completely’ satisfied response was received, the reason was investigated immediately and any necessary remedial action was put in place.

Care and Repair has particularly welcomed the increased funding for Disabled Facilities Grants and for the small repairs and minor adaptations services (‘handyperson schemes’) that it has championed for the past 20 years. The phased introduction of Lifetime Homes Standards in all new housing, is also strongly supported by the charity, as this responds to key messages from older people about wanting more adaptable housing.

‘Moving older people from the margins to the centre of housing policy is a crucial response to population ageing ’ said Peter Archer, Chair of Care & Repair England. ’This strategy goes a long way towards that and we look forward to working with the government to achieve its vision of inclusive housing and neighbourhoods for people of all ages.’ Care & Repair England’s aim is to innovate, develop, promote and support housing related policies and practical initiatives which enable older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes for as long as they wish. On a local level, Care & Repair South Worcestershire helps homeowners and private sector tenants who are older, disabled or on low income to repair, maintain or adapt their homes. Many of these people are unsure where to turn for help. They are concerned about letting people into their homes and worried about employing ‘cowboy’ builders. The mission of Care & Repair South Worcestershire is to ensure that older people have the best possible advice on their housing options and to help them live independently for as long as possible. Living longer should mean living well, not more years spent in unsuitable accommodation especially for those with a chronic illness or disability. As a local provider of home improvement services Care & Repair South Worcestershire also welcome the Government’s new strategy and their proposals to expand their role. If you would like more information contact Care & Repair South Worcestershire you can call them direct on "#%*( '('$(%.

We want to provide our customers and business partners with an excellent level of service. Please remember to fill in our Reader Survey at the back of this newsletter to provide us with your views. More information about the TSA code of practice will feature in future issues of Connect. Watch this space.

Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


!

IFBMUIDBSF QSPGFTTJPOBM OFXTMFUUFS SPRING / SUMMER 

Financial help for the rising cost of energy... Ofgem is the official body that regulate energy suppliers and their aim is to bring choice and value to all gas and electricity customers by promoting competition and regulating monopolies.

You may have heard in the news that Ofgem have recently agreed a package of measures that will help to target customers who are a suffering hardship as a result of the rising cost of energy.

Did you know that consumers spend more than a tenth of their income on energy? Because of this, Ofgem are pulling together an action programme that will include measures to make sure that help is pinpointed on people who genuinely need it. They are also enforcing a stronger supplier commitment to provide clear information to guide the elderly and other vulnerable consumers to the best offerings. At Worcestershire TeleCare, we have a commitment to help vulnerable people live safe and independent lives so we have provided you with a checklist to ensure you have the information you need when working with someone who is vulnerable.

The steps below will help someone you care about or work with make an informed choice and receive every bit of financial help they are entitled to. 1. Contact your energy supplier and ask them to talk you through the following: s

s s

$O THEY OFFER CHEAPER GAS  electricity tariffs to those on low incomes? If so are you entitled to that? 7OULD YOU SAVE MONEY BY SWITCHING payment methods? #AN THEY PLACE YOU ON THEIR 0RIORITY Service Register? If you are of a pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick you can qualify for the PSR. This service entitles you to additional services free of charge such as; password schemes, bills available in large print, Braille as well as talking bills, bill nominee scheme, priority in an emergency.

Address all these issues with your energy supplier and if you don’t feel you’re getting the best deal, shop around.

Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


3

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Friendly Accessible Informative

s (OW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT OUR SERVICE

s (OW REGULARLY DO YOU REFER POTENTIAL SERVICE USERS TO 7ORCESTERSHIRE 4ELE#ARE

Yes Yes Yes

No No No

Professional Helpful Reliable

Yes Yes Yes

No No No

s 0LEASE ADD ANY OTHER WORDS YOU WOULD ASSOCIATE WITH Worcestershire TeleCare

Frequently (eg; monthly) Never

)F NEVER WHY NOT

s 7HAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK WOULD ENCOURAGE MORE CLIENTS TO UTILISE OUR SERVICE Better value for money Additional services (please specify) Other

2. To get further advice on shopping around for the best deal and level of service, the Energy Saving Trust offer free, independent and local energy saving advice. Phone them free on "*"" '#$ "#$ 3. The Home Heat Helpline (the Energy Retail Association) represents energy suppliers and provides a free national helpline for vulnerable customers having difficulties paying their bills. Phone "*"" %% (( ++ 4. Have you applied for your Winter Fuel Payment? Up to £250 can be awarded to help with fuel payments for those over 60 and those over 80 can claim up to £400. For a claim form and more information contact the Winter Fuel Payment Hotline on "*&'+ #' #' #'. 5. Warm Front is a Government funded initiative and they provide advice on grants available to make homes warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. Call them on "*"" %#( $*"'

s (OW DO YOU THINK WE COULD IMPROVE OUR SERVICE

s 7OULD YOU RECOMMEND THE SERVICE TO A COLLEAGUE

FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER Yes

No



Very Frequently (eg; weekly) Occasionally

s (OW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF DEALING WITH Worestershire TeleCare

Are you a lone worker? If so we can help you feel safe working alone. FZW IadUWefWdeZ[dW FW^W5SdW >a`W Iad]Wd ?a`[fad[`Y EWdh[UW [e VWe[Y`WV fa bdafWUf iad]Wde iZa iad] W[fZWd S^a`W ad SiSk Xda_ fZW aXÌUW S`V aXfW` [` S bae[f[a` [` iZ[UZ fZWk SdW bafW`f[S^^k hg^`WdST^W FZW IadUWefWdeZ[dW FW^W5SdW >a`W Iad]Wd ?a`[fad[`Y EWdh[UW abWdSfWe & Zagde S VSk S`V W`ST^We S^^ fkbWe aX iad]Wde fa iad] eSXW^k S`V ÍWj[T^k [` fZW ]`ai^WVYW fZSf [X ea_WfZ[`Y eZag^V Ya ida`Y ZW^b [e `af XSd SiSk IZSf fkbW aX iad]Wde US` TW`WÌf Xda_ fZW FW^W5SdW >a`W Iad]Wd ?a`[fad[`Y EWdh[UW1  3`ka`W iad][`Y [` S` aXÌUW S^a`W  3`ka`W iad][`Y agf S`V STagf SUdaee ^aUSf[a`e S^a`W  3`ka`W iZa iad]e [` bafW`f[S^^k hg^`WdST^W e[fgSf[a`e  3`ka`W iZa iad]e S^a`W Âagf aX ZagdeÃ

Worcestershire TeleCare also provide a variety of options that provide the reassurance people need to live independently in their own homes such as Carbon monoxide detectors, bogus caller alarms and much more.

Call our team of advisors on "*&' #%"#&(+

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Please call: "*&' #%" #&(+ (mon-fri 9.00am - 5.00pm) or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY

To realise the potential of TeleCare to help our clients live safe, independent lives...


2

IFBMUIDBSF QSPGFTTJPOBM OFXTMFUUFS SPRING / SUMMER 

s 7HAT SERVICES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE 7ORCESTERSHIRE 4ELE#ARE OFFERING

We want to ensure we have accurate information on all the individuals that refer customers to Worcestershire TeleCare and our business partners. Please fill in your personal details to help us ensure your records are up to date Name

s )F YOU COULD LOG A REFERRAL ON LINE WOULD YOU lND THIS BENElCIAL Yes

No

Don’t know

Profession Organisation Address Post code

s )F YES WHY WOULD IT BENElT YOU

Telephone number Email address

s 0LEASE PROVIDE ANY OTHER COMMENTS

Thank You Your participation is very much appreciated...

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Worcestershire TeleCare is a member of the TSA, the nationally recognised association for providers of telecare alarm services. If you would like to contact Worcestershire TeleCare please call "*&' #%" #&(+ You can write to us at Worcestershire TeleCare, PO box 145, Malvern, WR14 3ZP http://www.worcstelecare.org/ Or you can log onto iii iadUefW^WUSdW adY If you or some one you know would prefer this newsletter in another format, size or language, please contact "*&' #%" #&(+ "*&' #%" #&(+ "*&' #%" #&(+ The Worcestershire TeleCare Partnership.

Worcestershire TeleCare Registered Office, 3 Foley Grove, Foley Business Park, Kidderminster, DY11 7PT. Tel: "#'($ )%%"""

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