Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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All care home residents to get more help making the switch to digital

All care home residents to get more help making the switch to digital

DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT News Release (104/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 14 October 2008

All care home residents will get help with the switch to digital TV following changes to the Switchover Help Scheme announced by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham today.

The Switchover Help Scheme has been set up by the Government and the BBC to deliver practical help to those older and disabled people who are likely to have the most difficulty in making the switch to digital.

Announcing the new proposal Andy Burnham said:

"This change will allow even more people to benefit from the support and advice on offer through the Help Scheme. It's always been our aim to make sure those people who may find the process of digital switchover most difficult receive the best help possible. When the Help Scheme was first developed we recognised that care homes may require special arrangements and the change announced today is recognition of our ongoing commitment to this.

"People in the Scottish Borders can be reassured they'll get all the help they need to switch."

The next place to switch to digital is the Scottish Borders on 6 November 2008 and arrangements are already in place to contact all care homes in this area. DCMS is working with the Scottish Executive to make sure all care home residents are able to take advantage of the help available to them. DCMS has also begun a procurement process to select an organisation to collect personal data from all UK care homes for use in future switchovers.

Notes to editors

1. The process of digital switchover is happening across the UK, region by region in the following order:

* 2008-Border (Selkirk 6 Nov 2008, Douglas 18 June 2009, Caldbeck 24 June 2009)

* 2009 - West Country (Beacon Hill 8 April 2009, Stockland Hill 6 May 2009, Huntshaw Cross 1 July 2009, Redruth 8 July 2009, Caradon Hill 12 August 2009), Wales (Kilvey Hill 12 August 2009, Preseli 19 August 2009, Carmel 26 August 2009), Granada

* 2010 - West, STV North, STV Central

* 2011 - Yorkshire, Anglia, Central

* 2012 - Meridian, London, Tyne Tees, Ulster

2. The Help Scheme already covers:

* All households with one person aged 75 or over;

* All households with one person with a severe disability. (This is defined as having an award of the following social security benefits: disability living allowance (including where the qualifying person is a child), attendance allowance, or equivalents under the industrial injuries disablement benefit scheme and pre-2005 war pension schemes); and

* All households where one person is registered blind or registered partially sighted.

Help is available free of charge to qualifying households who are also on income related benefits; all other qualifying households pay a charge of £40.

3. Residents in care homes will be eligible for the Switchover Help Scheme if they have been resident for more than 6 months or if the care home manger expects them to have been resident for more than 6 months one month after all the analogue signals have been switched off.

4. Letters were sent on 3 October to all care home managers of homes within the Selkirk transmission area. These letters ask the care home managers to provide the Switchover Help Scheme with details of individuals in care homes so the Scheme can send them an options pack.

5. For more about the Switchover Help Scheme, please visit http://www.helpscheme.co.uk. Members of the public can contact the Switchover Help Scheme on 0800 40 85 900. For media enquiries about the Switchover Help Scheme contact 0207 478 7801.

6. For more details about the DCMS procurement of an organisation to collect personal data see http://dcms.g2b.info/

7. More information about the detailed timetable and switching to digital television is available at http://www.digitaluk.co.uk. For queries relating to local, technical and reception issues you can contact Digital UK on 0845 6 50 50 50.

Public enquiries 020 7211 6200
http://www.culture.gov.uk

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London SW1Y 5DH
http://www.culture.gov.uk

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