The coronavirus crisis has placed a significant strain on the NHS. Even before the pandemic began, hospitals were already under pressure to keep up with an increase in demand. What’s more, the UK has an ageing population who require more hospital visits and longer stays in hospital beds. Here at Lifeline24, we believe that Personal Alarms for the elderly will be a crucial part of the solution to this growing problem.
NHS Hospitals Under Strain
At the end of 2019, delays in A&E reached the highest level on record. These delays are partly due to bed blocking, which is an issue in NHS hospitals across the UK. Bed-blocking is where patients are unable to leave hospital due to social care costs or a lack of organised care, despite being medically ready to go home.
A 2017 study revealed that bed-blocking had risen by 52% in three years. Statistics from the report included:
- Patients in England experience around 177,000 days’ worth of delays – affecting more than 5,900 beds a day in April 2017.
- The tally of total delayed days rose from 116,261 in April 2014 to 177,137 three years later.
- Estimated actual beds blocked rose from 3,875 a day in April 2014 to 5,905 in April 2017.
According to the report, 36% of all social-care-related delays in April (or 23,900 days’ worth) were linked to patients lacking a home care plan. The pandemic has placed further stress on the provision of social care. This is where we believe personal alarms for the elderly can help the NHS.
Personal Alarms for the Elderly
The Lifeline Alarm system is an increasingly popular method of keeping people out of hospitals and in the comfort of their own homes. A Lifeline Alarm usually consists of a Lifeline pendant worn around the neck or wrist, alongside an alarm base unit that plugs into the mains power.
If a Lifeline user needs assistance, they can press the button on their pendant and know that help is on its way. Pressing the help button will send an alert to our 24/7 Response Team, who will be able to send help fast, either by phoning the user’s emergency contacts or the emergency services.
This means that the alarm user can remain independent at home, safe in the knowledge that our Response Team is there to answer their distress call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In some cases, having a personal alarm in place can shorten and even prevent hospital admissions.
Relieving the Strain on Hospitals
Many of our customers buy an alarm from us after coming out of hospital, following a fall or health problem. Our personal alarms for the elderly often help them stay out of hospital in the long term. This is not only great for our customers but also helpful for the NHS.
Lifeline Alarms are already helping 1.7 million people stay safe at home. They can do the same for you or your loved one. The Lifeline Alarm is easy to install and simple to use. Plus the UK-based Lifeline Response Centre has received the highest level of accreditation from the Telecare Services Association. If you’d like to know more about the Lifeline system, you can find a detailed guide here.
Are Lifeline Alarms Available on the NHS?
The NHS does not provide Lifeline alarms. Until recently, many local authorities offered personal alarm schemes to pensioners and people with disabilities on a means-tested basis. However, in many places, these local authority schemes have faced cuts or been scrapped altogether. Luckily, Lifeline24 remains a reliable and affordable provider of personal alarms for elderly and disabled people across the UK. We offer a range of alarms to suit all needs, from our standard MyAmie pendant to our automatic Fall Detector alarm, as well as our advanced GPS alarm.
To order your personal alarm, you can either visit our website or call us for free on 0800 999 0400. A member of our Customer Service team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, fill in the Contact Us form on our website and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.
Editor’s Note: This post was last updated in August 2021.