Gloucestershire responder scheme's failure sparks review

Vulnerable adults
Image caption Telecare devices, which alert responders to home emergencies, stopped operating between 14:00 GMT on Sunday and 13:00 GMT on Monday

A review is under way into why social care bosses were not told a monitoring system for the vulnerable had failed.

Telecare devices, which alert responders to home emergencies, stopped operating between 14:00 GMT on Monday and 13:00 GMT on Tuesday.

But Gloucestershire County Council said Bristol City Council and BT failed to inform care teams until Tuesday.

Bristol City Council said it had notified its "points of contact" at the county council on Monday afternoon.

A BT spokeswoman apologised but said the "priority" had been to restore the service as quickly as possible.

The failure meant users in Gloucestershire who activated their system over the 23-hour period would have not received help.

According to the county council, about 2,700 vulnerable adults use the system across the county.

Bristol City Council is contracted to provide the 24/7 responder service, in which trained people can pick up calls when a sensor is triggered in a vulnerable person's home.

'Isolated incident'

Margaret Willcox, director of adult social services at the council, said it would be carrying out a review.

"BT were doing some work [on Monday] because the [monitoring] centre has moved its base and the line went down. They weren't able to fix it... they had a back-up system but that failed later that afternoon," she said.

"But we weren't told until [Tuesday] morning in social services."

BT said it was "still investigating the circumstances surrounding the service issue" but it believes it was an "isolated incident".

"We're very sorry for any inconvenience or concern caused. Our priority was to restore the service as quickly as possible, which is what we did," the spokeswoman said.

But Pete Anderson, from Bristol City Council, said the county council was notified of the failure on Monday afternoon.

"We did provide relevant updates on the situation of the line fault failure - we contacted the commissioners of the telecare services within Gloucestershire," he said.

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