Concerns over Telecare on Bute

A DIRECTOR of Hanover Telecare, the company which provides assistance for elderly or vulnerable customers living alone, has responded to concerns over its operational activities.

At a meeting of Bute Community Safety Forum, Inspector Gordon Anderson - Strathclyde Police’s senior officer on the island - was asked if the local police were still receiving a large number of phone calls from Hanover Telecare to help customers who had hit the ‘panic button’ at their home.

Inspector Anderson said it is not uncommon for the police to receive several calls a week from Hanover Telecare, who have been unable to find an available key holder able to attend to the resident’s call for help.

We contacted Chris Milburn, director of business and communications at Hanover Telecare, and asked what policies are in place for when key holders are not able to attend to the customer, and indeed, for when police officers are unable to attend?

We received the following response: “Argyll and Bute Council thoroughly assess all of their clients. Part of this process includes the obtaining of suitable key holder contacts which are then provided to Hanover Telecare to use in response to calls.

“The appropriateness of who to contact in response to a call depends on the nature of each call. In some cases the police would be considered the most appropriate contact.

“Occasionally, when we cannot ascertain the nature of a call and no other contacts are available at the time, the police are called.

“If the police cannot attend in these situations then we call an ambulance. Of course, the ambulance service may have similar issues to the police.

“We do not leave any calls without a response and keep trying until we know the call reason and outcome.”

A council spokesperson said: “We will liaise with Hanover Telecare and local police to find out more about the situation.”