‘Cold alarms’ from Hull 2020 and KC help keep local residents safe and healthy as the temperature drops

Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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With the current cold snap focusing attention on the thousands of older and vulnerable people across the UK whose health is at risk due to falling temperatures, local organisations are working together to use technology to prevent the effects cold weather can cause.

The Hull 2020 partnership includes local health organisations, emergency services and community groups who work together to improve the quality of life of Hull residents.

It is working with communications provider KC and European technology suppliers Sprue Safety Products and VoltDelta to launch a trial of cold alarms.

The alarms are wireless devices, similar in size to a smoke alarm, that monitor the temperature in the homes of people who are at risk from the cold, including older people and those with long term health problems.

When the temperature falls below a predetermined threshold the alarm sends an alert via the internet to a KC alert centre or family member, who can take action to ensure the householder is safe and well, and address any heating problems.

The trial is being supported by local housing association Pickering and Ferens Homes, which specialises in homes for people in later life; Bransholme Buddies, which supports vulnerable residents in Bransholme; and Humberside Fire and Rescue, which has identified local residents who would benefit from the cold alarm service.

Fifty alarms have been installed in local homes to date and it is hoped the trial will extend to 150 homes.

The cold alarm is the first of a number of ‘Safe at Home’ services set to be introduced by the partnership.

Emma Latimer, Chief Officer of Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull 2020 Programme Sponsor, said: “Hull 2020 is the most ambitious public service partnership the city has seen, with one of its initial priorities being to meet the needs of the city’s most vulnerable residents, such as dementia patients, the elderly and those with mental health issues.

“’Safe at Home’ not only provides a vital service to those in need but also supports our Hull 2020 ambition to continue exploring the advances of technology and changes to care delivery.”

Lee Hampston, head of business solutions at KC, said: “This is a great example of how internet connectivity can help people stay healthy and safe in their homes.

“One resident who suffers with long term conditions has already benefited from their cold alarm. When the temperature in her home fell below the agreed threshold, KC’s alert centre responded to the cold alert deploy a Pickering and Ferens heating engineer blankets and a Pickering & Ferens heating engineer to attend.

“Technology enabled care services like these give vulnerable people and their relatives peace of mind and can help people live independently in their own homes for longer.”

Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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