Alertacall - Digital Switchover

Opportunities arising from Digital Switchover It would be easy to see Digital Switchover as a major upcoming infrastructure project, which in the case of the largest housing providers may run into tens of millions of pounds of expenditure over the next 5 years, and material service disruption. It may also be perceived as one which is essential, but which has no material return on such an investment. However, this would be missing a major opportunity as Digital Switchover can be the catalyst to dramatically improve services, at the same time as reducing costs. By embracing recent innovations and Digital Switchover, an opportunity exists to strengthen your entire digital strategy and to achieve the following outcomes: • Minimise infrastructure investment • Reduce ongoing maintenance costs • Increase digital engagement with residents • Improve resident management • Deliver operational efficiencies • Adopt a proactive approach to identify future resident needs Financial impact and funding opportunities In the past, the cost of many hard wired alarm and warden call systems were commonly funded by Supporting People funding, which has now been removed. While some pass on the running costs to residents, or part of the running costs, this may not be feasible when it comes to the substantial costs associated with potential upgrades or overhauls required as a result of Digital Switchover. It cannot also be assumed that ongoing operational costs can be funded through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. This is because hard wired intercom and alarms systems are a support tool and funding regulations implicitly name ‘alarms’ as ineligible for service charge recovery. However, there are funding opportunities available. With the right expertise, it is often possible to access funding to cover an overwhelming majority of the operational costs of a Digital Switchover solution. Alertacall is offering those in housing a free of charge consultation with independent revenue and funding specialists. 0808 208 1234 The options available on sheltered and supported housing schemes There are three primary options in the case of hard wired alarm systems installed at sheltered housing schemes: • Upgrade the hard wired system with something wireless, lower cost and proactive • Replace the hard wired system with the latest version from the supplier • Decommission the hard wired system and adopt a totally different service model With dispersed alarms there are four options: • Replace the dispersed alarm system essentially a “like for like” newer version • Upgrade the dispersed alarm system with a mobile telephone based solution • Upgrade the dispersed alarm system with more proactive wearable technology • Stop providing an alarm service and simply signpost residents to other services 10