Helpline strengthens service to bring peace of mind during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17 April 2020

Date issued: 17 April 2020

Since the UK entered lockdown on 23 March 2020, over 900 home visits have been made to older and vulnerable people living in Colchester and North Essex, who called for emergency assistance from Colchester’s Helpline team, predominantly after experiencing a fall in the home. Helpline staff follow Government safety advice and are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during home visits.

In total, the Helpline team have responded to over 3,350 alarm activations during lockdown, from individuals activating their personal alarms (pendants and wristbands) for assistance. Over the Easter bank-holiday weekend alone, the on-call team made over 30 home visits.

Over 3,500 customers across the borough and north Essex rely on Helpline’s emergency alarm, response and monitoring service. The 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year service responds to and lifts hundreds of residents each month, enabling people to stay at home while relieving pressures on Emergency Services.

To ensure Helpline can continue running through the lockdown period Colchester Amphora Trading, which runs Helpline on behalf of Colchester Borough Council, took early measures to

  • Recruit nine new staff from other parts of the council. All have received appropriate first aid and lifting and handling training to boost the service’s core team.  
  • Secure recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in enough quantities to ensure response teams are adequately protected when responding to home callouts.  

Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, Cllr Theresa Higgins, said: “The Helpline service provides support and peace of mind to so many vulnerable people living independent lives across the borough and beyond, so it was vital that the service took the necessary steps to continue to offer a first-class service through these challenging times.”

Helpline is also helping to ease the pressure on hospital and ambulance staff at this critical time. The team have been working closely with the East of England Ambulance Service for the last three years to pick up non-injured fallers following clinical triaging by EEAST with the aim of easing the pressures on NHS frontline staff. 

Helpline’s users are not exclusively older people. Some have a physical disability or suffer from a chronic condition such as epilepsy or arthritis or are recovering from illness. Other customers are simply concerned for their personal safety and security, if they are perhaps prone to falls or have a condition such as dementia.

Helpline is offering a free, no obligation demonstration of its equipment, with the first 12 weeks service provided free, for those unable to visit family and friends during this unprecedented time who feel they would benefit from the additional support.

To find out how more call 01206 769799 or visit

Page last reviewed: 17 April 2020


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