Telecare is a substantial and increasingly important aspect of the provision of social and healthcare services. The Government has released significant funds to pump prime its goal of modernising the care services provided by local authorities and the National Health Service. The procurement, provision and commissioning of not just equipment, but also installation, maintenance, monitoring and response are all considerations in the evaluation of the provision of telecare services.
SSAIB has substantial experience in undertaking audits within the social alarms and telecare sector having been the Association of Social Alarm Providers’ (now the Telecare Services Association) preferred audit partner for its 2005 Code of Practice for several years. SSAIB is now using its considerable expertise to offer a scheme to all telecare service providers.
The SSAIB scheme will operate in accordance with the requirements of BS EN 45011. This standard specifies requirements applicable to ‘product’ certification, that is, conformance with British and/or European standards. This certification scheme covers:
- Organisations responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of social alarm systems and equipment.
- Centres monitoring signals (alarms or faults) from social alarms.
- Organisations responding to signals received at monitoring centres.
Certification will be granted, maintained, suspended and/or withdrawn directly by SSAIB in accordance with the requirements of this standard.
The codes of practice that underpin the scheme call up the relevant clauses of DD CLC/TS 50134-7 and, with respect to monitoring, BS 5979. Clauses from other British standards are called up where relevant.
The Government is looking to embed telecare within the health and social care provision and consequently it has included telecare in a national framework agreement under the auspices of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA). The intention is to ‘simplify procurement arrangements and get best value’ for the commissioners and suppliers of telecare services. Certification of telecare service providers is a mechanism for demonstrating compliance with current standards, codes of practice and best practice for those wishing to participate in this market. SSAIB certification will be open to all telecare service providers.