Your questions answered

General FAQs

What is Telecare?

Telecare is a type of technology that connects you to a support centre when you need help. This could be a personal alarm, a pendant or another sensor of some kind. Help is at hand 24 hours a day, every day of the year – including Christmas Day.

How does Telecare work?

You can sound the alarm by pressing a button on a pendant or on a base unit. You may also have equipment that automatically raises the alarm if you are unable to do it yourself. The monitoring centre will know which piece of equipment has triggered the alarm, and organise the response for you. You’ll be given equipment to make sure you can talk to an operator, even if you’re far away from a phone.

Who answers my call when I trigger my alarm?

All of our alarm calls are answered by a company called Astraline Limited. Astraline are based just outside of Manchester and are one of the UK’s leading providers in technology-enabled care services.

Who supplies our Equipment?

Our main suppliers for equipment are a company called Chiptech Limited. Chiptech Limited is a company specialising in the design and manufacture of quality digital telecare and personal safety products.

What type of equipment will I have installed?

Depending on your Safe at Home package, you will normally have a Chiptech Seven or a Chiptech Eva digital base unit installed as standard. This unit will connect your alarm trigger to the call centre. You will also be given a pendant (with/or without automatic falls detection, depending on your requirements) which is digitally paired to the Seven or Eva base unit. You may also have peripheral equipment such as smoke alarms or carbon monoxide monitors installed depending on your needs and existing safety equipment. Our officers will discuss if any additional or peripheral equipment may be required when they first visit you following their assessment. A selection of the equipment we install can be viewed on the Products page of this website.

Who is Telecare for?

Telecare is for anyone who wants the freedom to live independently at home, with the reassurance that they could summon help if they need it. It is suitable for older people who are experiencing failing eyesight, poorer balance and slower reactions. It can also be a lifeline to younger people with learning or physical disabilities, chronic medical conditions or those recovering from illness. What unites everyone who uses telecare is a quick and easy way to be connected to the support you need, day and night.

How do I know Safe at Home will keep me safe?

Safe at Home and the monitoring centre we use are both member of the TEC Services Association (TSA), the industry body for Technology Enabled Care (TEC). TSA represents the largest industry specific network in Europe and brings together a growing membership of organisations across local government, health and the private sector. To find out more you can visit the TSA website.

What information will I need to share?

We will ask for the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the people who will respond to your alarm calls and provide the help you need. We will also ask for your GP’s details, your next of kin and relevant medical information. All information is handled in line with GDPR our privacy policy.

How much do Safe at Home products cost?

We have a range of products available – some you can buy outright, and some you rent weekly for as long as you need, this includes rental of as much equipment as you require and for our support centre to answer all calls 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Installation of these products are at an additional cost.

How long does installation take?

Depending on the equipment you choose to have installed, we estimate that connection will take around 60 minutes. We will show you how to use the system and answer any queries you may have. The appointment will also include a free home safety check of the property and advice or guidance will be provided.

Am I committed to a long contract with Safe at Home?

No, you can cancel anytime you choose by calling us on 0800 731 2228 or emailing safeathome@portsmouthcc.gov.uk. Your paid-for service will end when we collect the equipment you have rented from us, or when we disconnect you from Safe at Home.

Do you recycle equipment when it breaks or wears out?

We re-use and recycle all of our equipment in line with Portsmouth City Council’s sustainability principle to promote a sustainable waste strategy focused on reducing waste and increasing re-use and recycling.

Home Safety FAQs

What can I expect when I have a home safety check?

We will carry out a full safety and security inspection of the property, particularly paying attention to the needs of any young children, elderly residents or anyone with reduced mobility and other care needs. We will make recommendations based on our assessment and install safety equipment. 

Do I need to have a home safety check to buy any of the products available on the Safe at Home website?

Yes, our in house Safe at Home team will provide a full home safety check and installation of all our equipment.

Who can have a home safety check?

Anyone living in Portsmouth (PO1 – PO6) and Gosport can book a visit for their home. For Gosport referrals please contact the support officers at Gosport Borough Council.  

How long does a home safety check take?

A full home-check safety and security inspection will take between one and two hours depending upon the size of the property and the amount of equipment that is required.

How much is the home safety check?

A basic home safety and security visit which includes advice and support looking at safety hazards and risk is £10. An enhanced home safety and security visit which includes installation of any of our home safety equipment is £20. Both payable upon appointment.

Please visit our Home safety visit – Safe at home (wearesafeathome.co.uk) page for further info around costs involved.

VAT FAQs

 

What is disabled VAT relief?

‘Disabled VAT relief’ refers to the government tax relief scheme that allows people with a disability or long-term medical condition to pay for an emergency alarm call system without paying VAT.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs

Who can qualify for disabled VAT relief?

You could claim VAT relief on a Safe at Home plan if you’re chronically sick or disabled. You do not need to be registered disabled or eligible for any other benefit to qualify.

What HMRC means by ‘chronically sick or disabled’

For VAT purposes, you’re chronically sick or disabled if you have:

  • a physical or mental impairment that has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on your ability to carry out everyday activities
  • a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (that’s a long-term health condition)

Can you give some examples of qualifying conditions?

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Alzheimer’s/dementia, angina, arthritis, blind/partially sighted, cancer, cardiovascular, deaf/hard of hearing, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, stroke, a terminal illness, and many more.

If you’re not sure if your condition means you’re chronically sick or disabled you should consult with your doctor.