Councillors have approved £1.3 million to keep vulnerable carephone users safe as Kirklees Council implements a national digital switchover.

The UK’s digital network delivery provider Openreach plans to introduce a fully fibre digital network by the end of 2025 where the connections of every business and home in the country will be upgraded.

Following switchover all landline calls will no longer be made using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), instead calls will use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Residents with analogue carephones will be left with devices that no longer function. The £1.3m will be used to purchase digital devices for 3,500 residents to ensure they continue to receive the service they require in a timely manner to keep them safe and well.

Clr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Carephones are a means for vulnerable residents to call for help if they require urgent assistance.

“By investing in digital carephones we aim to ensure residents get access to the social care they require to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

“The investment will also help our emergency services colleagues by reducing pressure on blue light services and preventing avoidable hospital admissions.”

There will be a phased approach to issue digital devices over the next 18 months to match Openreach’s switchover in Kirklees.