Gwynedd Council Telecare Service
Due to the continual financial pressure facing Local Authorities, Gwynedd Council is looking to introduce changes in early 2019 to the fee for the basic Telecare service which is offered to people in the county.
Telecare is a support package that helps people to live more independently and includes a red button device and a ‘lifeline’ pendant which allows the individual to call for assistance 24-hours a day. At present, many people pay £3.30 a week for the service.
This is the first time since 2013 that Gwynedd Council has considered adjusting the fee for the basic Telecare service, and the aim is to charge up to £4.50 a week – which is the lowest possible sum estimated that is needed in order to maintain the service at the current level.
The Council is contacting everyone who uses the service so that any concerns or problems they may have can be addressed. In particular, the Council is urging on anybody who is worried that they won’t be able to afford to pay the fee to follow the instructions included in the letter they will be receiving over the coming week and to contact the Council.
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Adult, Health and Wellbeing services, said:
“As a Council we have been able to avoid increasing the fee for the Telecare service for five years and we have not implemented the decision made in January 2017 to charge everyone who receives the service.
“But because of year-on-year cuts to finances, we no longer have an option but to adjust the fee in order to continue to provide the service. The only other option would be to cut back on the Telecare service or introduce other changes which would likely have a detrimental effect on vulnerable people.
“By introducing the changes, users of the basic Telecare service would pay up to 64 pence a day towards the cost of the service. As well as maintaining the day to day running of the service, the standard weekly fee would allow us to invest in new modern technology, ensuring that the equipment we use is of the highest possible standard.
“Despite the decision to charge everyone, it is recommended that anyone who has received a financial assessment stating that they should not pay for their care services, will not be required to pay for their Telecare service.
“We ask that anybody else who is worried that they won’t be able to afford to pay the fee to follow the advice given in the letter they will receive over the coming week. I urge anybody who is eager to discuss this to contact us as soon as possible so that we can see if we can support them.”