Issue details

To award a contract to Tunstall Healthcare for planned upgrades and maintenance of community alarm equipment at supported housing schemes (community Alarms)

Decision made and reasons:


To award a contract to Tunstall Healthcare for planned upgrades and maintenance of community alarm equipment at supported housing schemes following a direct award via the Procurement for Housing (PfH) Framework Agreement.


The contract is for a fixed term two year period, which will allow us to undertake a full commissioning and procurement exercise for when this contact expires




Community alarms are installed within our supported housing dwellings and offer our tenants a direct “lifeline” to the onsite scheme manager or out of hours call centre, whilst also promoting independent living.  The alarm provides the tenant with a pendant that they can press or is automatically activated if there is an incident such as a fall.  This allows us to react quickly and appropriately to the needs of our vulnerable tenants and ensures their health and safety remains a council priority.


In 2015 Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) procured a community alarm installation and maintenance contract with Tunstall Healthcare successfully winning the contract via a tender process that focused on value for money.  The contract commenced in January 2016 on an initial five-year term with an additional two-year option that was subsequently approved; the contract ended on 13 January 2023.


The installation element of the contract has focused on upgrading our supported housing schemes and over 80% of our schemes have now been completed.  These improvements result in our community alarms systems migrating on to a digital system, which is imperative with the ISDN analogue/digital switchover taking effect in 2025.  The switchover will make landlines redundant, meaning the old community alarm system will no longer be functional, hence the pro-active improvement programme implemented to date.


Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic resulted in two years where the activity within our schemes was limited.  This was due to the vulnerability of the residents we would potentially come in to contact with and our commitment to keep our tenants safe during uncertain times.  As a result we have several schemes that still require upgrading.


Through the lifetime of the contract the partnership working between DBC and Tunstall has proved successful and enhanced the safety of our tenants within supported housing schemes.  As part of the current specification new smoke alarms are installed and integrated in to the community alarm system.  This extra layer of compliance results in the call centre being notified immediately if there is a smoke alarm activation.  In addition, the new door control system has a camera allowing tenants to view who is requesting access to the building, thus improving the overall security of the building and individuals.


Decision type: Key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/03/2023

Decision due: April 2023 by Portfolio Holder for Housing Services

Contact: Ricky Lang, Mechanical and Electical Team Leader Email: