Council's message to Homeline users ahead of phone line changes

By Barrie Hudson - 12 April 2024

CommunityHealth

Swindon Borough Council is enlisting the public's help to make sure elderly and vulnerable Homeline users stay connected.

A spokesperson said: "Is someone you know one of over 3,000 residents in Swindon who use the community alarm system Homeline, operated by Swindon Borough Council? 

"Between now and the end of December 2025, many telephone providers - e.g. BT, Virgin Media and O2 - are moving their customers from old copper landlines over to new digital fibre landline services. 

"While these changes are happening, the council wants to make sure that all users’ Homeline (careline) devices continue to work correctly. The council has been made aware of instances where elderly and vulnerable customers have had their Homeline service inadvertently disconnected when phone providers enter customers’ homes to complete the upgrade."

The spokesperson added: "If you have a family member, friend or neighbour who uses Homeline, here are three important things they need to do. 

"Firstly, when their telephone provider contacts them, they need to let them know that they have a Homeline device to make sure this doesn’t get disconnected. 

"Secondly, they should call the council on 01793 464430/616427 to let them know when their telephone provider is upgrading their landline service. 

"Thirdly, service users are advised to test their Homeline device once a month by pressing the button on their pendant. This won’t automatically call 999. 

"The Homeline team will check if they’re ok first, and service users just need to tell them they’re testing the device. The team expect these calls." 

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