British Lung Foundation
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A couple of years ago social services came round to see if there was anything they could help me with after I'd had 3 emergency hospital stays in rapid succession. From what they were offering, the only thing I could see of any use, as I was living alone at that time, was a community alarm, which was subject to means testing. It was decided I wouldn't have to pay anything towards the installation or running of the alarm. As it happens, I've never had to use it and it's just as well as they've never asked for a key or even mentioned a key so how anyone would get in I have no idea! Today I've had a letter telling me about a Community Alarm Consultation ( when we see this word consultation, I think we know it's already a done deal) proposing that for people "who can't afford to pay the full cost" it will cost £2.83 a week and if I ever press the alarm they will call back with verbal "reassurance" (not much use if I've already lost consciousness) or, if I need them to physically respond the cost will be £4.68 a week. Just wondering if anyone else has had one of these letters and it's going to apply to all areas of the country?

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5 Replies

Called Alarm Call here and it is nearer £20 a month for a response with a key safe they can use at £100 at the sign onto the scheme. Luck of the draw who the council get in seems to me that way though.

Hi Ashtray, just to clarify, the sums I quoted were for what has been up to now free due to means testing via social services. Are the sums you quote for privately paying the full amount? LIbby

With cut backs in care the service that was free has now got a price and a big one when it has to be found. Only care now is clinical and severe that cannot get out of bed on their own. Sorry for mixup new in this kind of thing.

Hi, am relatively new to the benefits system myself and will never get my head around it completely. Sounds like what my council are proposing is pretty cheap then. I'll still be cancelling though. How, when two years ago I was deemed to be left with "the amount the law says I need to live on", they can now say you can afford to pay for something that was then free, I'm not sure. I don't get full HB anyway due to having a private pension and am left with the bare minimum. I am sure a lot of less well off people will be cancelling now, leading, in a worst case scenario, to some people feeling totally abandoned and in danger. Libby

Hi, I'm not 100% sure without digging out all the original paperwork I got, but I'm pretty sure it's a private on call service that will be contracted to the local Council, so they will deal with people paying in full for the service, and also people who are being subsidised by the Council. Libby

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