Orkney Islands Council
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Community Care Alarm

A community care alarm is a portable device worn round the neck or wrist and linked by phone to the Balfour Hospital. In an emergency it can be used to call two nominated keyholders at the press of a button.

My Community Care Alarm isn’t working

If you have a problem with your community care alarm, please contact the Telecare Team on Telephone: 01856 873535, or leave a message with the Balfour Hospital switchboard on Tel: 01856 888000.

Community Alarm Services:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is the service for?
  • How do I ask for an alarm?
  • Is there a charge?
  • Installation and Maintainance
  • Community Care Alarm - Criteria
  • Community Care AlarmKeyholder Information Leaflet

Who is the service for?

  • People who because of age or disability might need to call for help. People who live alone, or are left alone for long periods, or who live with someone who is unable to call for help in an emergency.
  • People who are thought to be at risk, such as those who can’t use the phone to call for help.
  • People who use a wheelchair or walking frame to get around.
  • People with a history of falls or epileptic fits.

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How do I ask for an alarm?

Contact your social worker or community nurse. Or phone the duty social worker at the Council on Telephone: 01856 873535. A social worker or community nurse will then assess your needs.

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Is there a charge?

The service is free. But you still need to pay for telephone rental and call charges.

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Installation and Maintainance

The Mobile Community Responders team installs and maintains Community Care Alarms as part of Orkney Health and Care. All referrals are received through the Community Social Services Department of the Council following an assessment of need. This service is provided to service users of any age.

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Community Care Alarm - Criteria

  1. Users who are assessed for a Community Care Alarm will be living alone or be left alone for significant periods and be thought to be at risk.
  2. The evidence of recent falls, or events where medical help has been summoned will indicate that priority is given.
  3. A medical condition which causes the user to be unsteady, or to be confined to a wheelchair, will also indicate priority.
  4. The presence of confusion to the extent that function of alarm is not understood will be a contra- indication.
  5. Failure to wear the pendant on 2 check visits will result in the service being withdrawn.

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Community Care Alarm Keyholder Information Leaflet

The Community Care Alarm System provides someone with an emergency trigger. This activates an alarm linked to the Balfour Hospital Switchboard. When the alarm is used, Switchboard will try to speak to the person via the alarm. If unable to get a response (or the person asks for help) they will contact a nominated keyholder.

As a Keyholder You Need to:

  • Have a key or access to the alarm user’s house.
  • Inform the hospital switchboard Telephone: 01856 888000 when you will be away on holiday.
  • Let the Alarm Holder know you will be away and discuss who should be nominated as a replacement keyholder for that period.
  • Inform the Telecare Team on Telephone: 01856 873535  if you change your address or telephone number or if you no longer wish to be a keyholder.
  • In responding to a call from Switchboard you are not expected to take any action which would put your own health at risk.

If you already have health problems of your own please think carefully before agreeing to take on this commitment.

Keyholders provide valuable service for the person using the alarm by offering independence and security. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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