THURROCK Council has apologised after sending a letter that threatened to charge residents for a care line.
Portfolio Holder for Children’s and Adults social care, Cllr Sue Little spoke today (Thursday 13 July) and said: “In September 2016 a Careline Review Team was established to examine the options for upgrading obsolete equipment in the Careline monitoring centre, in sheltered housing and general needs flats.
“A report was taken to Cabinet in April this year which agreed to decommission the hard-wired pull cord alarm system and replace it with dispersed personal alarms where required by the service user.
“Cabinet also agreed to upgrade the Careline monitoring system and develop it into a new enhanced and expanded telecare and assistive technology service, linked to telemedicine services where it is appropriate.
“But importantly, we committed to making the new Careline or assistive technology service available free of charge to current users of adult social care.
“An inaccurate letter was unfortunately sent to tenants which stated that they would have to pay a telephone charge if they did not already have a phone line in to their property. We have receive only one complaint, but that’s one too many and I am happy to make it clear.
“I can confirm that there will not be a charge. It should have stated that the council simply wanted to identify properties without a landline so we can find a free, no charge solution for all service users.
“Although we have not received any direct complaints, we would like to apologise for any concern caused to any resident and we are happy to make the current situation clear.”