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Care minister endorses TSA standards

Posted on 01 Mar, 2017

Care minister David Mowat has called for all personal alarm providers to sign up to TSA’s Quality Standards Framework in a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday 21 February.

The debate was requested by Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston after a local man contacted his housing association’s emergency alarm call line but died waiting for an ambulance to arrive. 

Following a Coroner’s hearing, the personal alarm provider quickly implemented changes to their service. These include keeping emergency services informed of any deterioration in a caller’s circumstances.

As the national body for community alarm providers and all TEC suppliers, TSA have updated its new Quality Standards Framework - which is currently in consultation - to include recommendations from the coroner’s hearing.

Minister for community health and care David Mowat called on all personal alarm providers to ensure they are accredited to TSA’s Quality Standards Framework. He said he would write to all non-accredited suppliers saying that he expects them to understand the lessons from this case and take action by the end of summer.

Care minister David Mowat made it clear that all local authorities and CCGs commissioning personal alarm services must be aware of the benefits of buying from personal alarm suppliers accredited by the TSA.

One of the issues in this case was the delay in an ambulance arriving following the 999 call. TSA is working with the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) to develop a national triage algorithm that can be used to more effectively evaluate and prioritise 999 calls. TSA is exploring other ways of working with ambulance services to reduce pressure on their services.

TSA will be meeting again with MP Justin Madders to look at ways of increasing the number of suppliers that are accredited and to make sure all recommended changes are being implemented.

Personal alarm providers applying for accreditation to TSA’s Quality Standards Framework will now have to demonstrate that they have trained staff in all relevant areas of their service, including call handling and responder services.

Organisations seeking accreditation must show how they continually review the situation and keep ambulance services informed of any changes to a caller’s condition. TSA is also in consultation around the issue of, where possible, keeping calls ‘open’ and giving reassurance to callers until help arrives.

TSA is also working with the Care Quality Commission to look at regulation and quality assurance around personal alarm monitoring and ensure the audit process is as robust as possible.

Alyson Scurfield, chief executive of TSA said:

“Some important lessons have come out of this deeply sad case. TSA will ensure that its standards framework reflects these lessons so all accredited organisations make changes to their services. Care minister David Mowat clearly stated the importance of personal alarm providers signing up to TSA’s standards framework and we’ll be working with the sector over the next few months to ensure they recognise the value of accreditation.”

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