Emergency Duty Team

AMENDMENT

In November 2020, this chapter was updated throughout and should be re-read.

1. Team Location

The Emergency Duty Team is based at:

Walsall Council Environmental Depot
200 Pelsall Road
Brownhills
Walsall
WS8 7EN

2. Communication and Contact Numbers

Direct EDT Telephone Number: 0300 555 2922 or 01922 652922.

Emergency Number: 01922-650000 (Civic Centre Number)

Calls to all Adult Services council offices are diverted to the above number out of office hours.

If the team are out of the office on a visit, (or all lines are busy), calls divert to a dedicated voicemail system and any phone calls are returned to callers in a timely manner.

EDT E-mail Address: Emergency Duty Team

or

Please ensure that all referrals/information that may require any action by EDT is sent to this email address. (It is also beneficial for phone numbers to be left from referring workers / members of the public, so there can be a phone discussion about the appropriateness of the referral / ensure enough information is available). EDT alerts can also be sent through the Mosaic recording team, (through the start menu).

3. EDT Duty Time Cover

Start Time   Finish Time  
Monday 17.00 Tuesday 08.45
Tuesday 17.00 Wednesday 08.45
Wednesday 17.00 Thursday 08.45
Thursday 17.00 Friday 08.45
Friday 16.30 Monday 08.45

And all Bank Holidays during office hours.

4. Hours the Team are Available

The EDT Duty Officer / Advanced Practitioner is available / at work on duty as follows:

Start Time   Finish Time  
Monday 16.30 Tuesday 10.00
Tuesday 16.30 Wednesday 10.00
Wednesday 16.30 Thursday 10.00
Thursday 16.30 Friday 10.00
Friday 16.30 Monday 10.00

And all Bank holidays during office hours.

In the main There will be one EDT Advanced Practitioner Social Worker on duty covering the above hours for the whole of Walsall. however, the on call worker has access to additional social work resources to support the team in exceptionally busy periods.

The team respond to all urgent Adult and Children's Services referrals, this includes providing support to the Appropriate Adults for PACE referrals on behalf of the Youth Offending Team. A Homelessness service is also provided by the team on behalf of the Housing and Welfare Support Service. The EDT team also provide some out of hours support to internal foster carers and source placements out of hours when this is necessary.

However it is expected that workers should seek to identify placements / contingencies during working hours with the placement team, where a placement need is already known during office hours.

The Mental Health Crisis Team provide their own out of hours service. Their number is 01922 607000.

There is also an out of hours Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) on call out of hours. This number is for professionals only and the number is 01922698033.

The Emergency Planning / Resilience Team have a joint working protocol with EDT and can also be contacted  through the out of hours contact centre on 01922 650000.

There is always a manager on duty for the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) and the Senior Management Team (SMT) also provide cover on a rota basis. Access to the SMT is via the EDT Manager).

E mailed EDT Referrals are reviewed 30 minutes before the end of office hours.

If there are queries on any of the information passed to day time staff EDT staff can be contacted by e mail (preferred option) or by Microsoft Teams call and when necessary by their mobile number (listed under the people finder system on the internal intranet page).

5. Working Arrangements Between the EDT Service and Daytime Social workers / Staff

The following criteria are set down to reflect the reality of high demand on both day time and EDT staff. The balance therefore has to be struck between ensuring a high quality service and the maintenance of a duty of care for both staff groups.

EDT will take referrals from fifteen minutes before daytime closure if:

  1. The family are closed to day time teams.
  2. if there are no staff in the area who are able to follow up the referral
  3. If it appears that the concern is a genuine emergency / safeguarding concern that it cannot wait until the next working day to be screened / assessed / addressed.

It is expected that service area staff are on duty until at least 5.15pm. It also has to be acknowledged that Walsall operates a flexi time system and service areas should attempt to deal with their cases and offer them consistency of service when this is possible.

It is important to note that the reduced out of hours staffing will mean that EDT will inevitably have to prioritise and risk assess many different cases that arise out of hours. It is to be noted that EDT are not able to undertake safe and well visits / statutory visits on cases, unless this has been explicitly agreed by the EDT Team manager in advance in exceptional circumstances.

The established practice of day time teams progressing referrals received before the EDT Start time will continue. (Also referred to in Child Protection Procedures). Calls should not be transferred over to EDT at 17.00, Social Work and Admin staff in the day teams should first establish the above three handover protocol points.

However EDT staff will be sensitive to daytime staff working hours and the progress of a referral with a view to giving appropriate support as priorities allow. The above consideration will also be applied to those cases open to staff where an emergency arises in the final fifteen minutes before daytime closing.

There may be that there will be exceptional circumstances whereby requests may be made for EDT to be involved. Such circumstances should be discussed with the EDT duty officer on duty and if necessary the EDT manager on call.

Day time staff need to be aware that the team continues to operate on an EMERGENCY basis only and therefore EDT is not in a position to provide a routine social work service. The team can only support and safeguard vulnerable adults, children and young people as the situation demands.

Therefore it is the responsibility of the day time workers / teams to establish contingencies and to have identified safety plans in relation to known risks and crisis situations, to ensure there is a mechanism of some responsible person contacting EDT if it is deemed that a vulnerable child person is at risk of harm.

There should be no expectation that the EDT have the capacity to carry out monitoring visits. If this is is required then day time staff must consider commissioning appropriate staff such as sessional workers who could contact EDT if there was a cause for concern.

The impact of this working protocol will be reviewed regularly.

6. Emergency Protection Orders and Police Protection

The appropriate use of Police Protection is clearly outlined in the Children Act 1989 section 46. Requests to the police should not be made merely on the basis that it is quicker and easier.

Where there is a history of concern and the view is that a legal order is necessary it is appropriate to make an application for an Emergency Protection Order (section 44) or Interim Care Order (section 38).

Where an Emergency Protection Order is recommended by day time staff, particularly in respect of an unborn baby, EDT should be supplied with clear written evidence on the grounds for an order. See Safeguarding Unborn Children: Pre-Birth Assessment Protocol. This should be in the form of a statement from the Social Worker accompanied by an appendix of other relevant documents.

There should also be a case discussion with EDT, so that the team have the opportunity to have any questions answered. If there is a planning meeting EDT can be invited as outlined in the Safeguarding Unborn Children: Pre-Birth Assessment Protocol.

EDT will also need details of the foster placement that has been identified. Contact times/venue and the person responsible for supervising contact should be also identified. Other issues e.g. propensity to violence should also be identified.

It should be noted that that EDT will also assess that the criteria for making an application for an order is met and may have a discussion with an out of hours court clerk, again to determine if the threshold is met for an EPO out of hours.

7. Walsall Residential Establishments

There is an on call officer on duty to cover the outside office hours.

If there are any difficulties, these should be referred by the residential staff to the on call officer who will make a decision as to whether EDT need to be involved, or whether it will be referred to the social work teams the next working day.

There are cases that clearly need to be referred to EDT; such as Child Protection / exploitation concerns, missing children and situations where looked after children have experienced harm or have had an accident. If staff are unsure whether a situation should be pursued as a safeguarding issue then the EDT worker is available to offer advice and guidance and to log and respond to any such concerns.

In cases where there is a death under suspicious circumstances (SUDI) EDT will inform the on call member of SLT.

8. Transfer of Referrals From EDT

Referrals are passed over to the day time teams the next working day on the Mosaic client recording system.

If a child is Accommodated LAC forms are completed. The EDT case records / workflow should always indicate where these forms are (e.g. with the foster carer / residential home). If a legal order has been obtained in respect of a child then the original order will be left with the child's carer at that time and if possible a copy is e mailed and attached to the Mosaic records as a document.

EDT staff will try and ensure that complex referrals are also discussed verbally with the allocated social worker after a shift if further urgent action is required the next working day.

If it is necessary to contact a member of the team, this should be done ASAP before they finish at 930am. After this time please e mail or call the EDT Team Manager to discuss.

EDT staff have access to Mosaic for up to date Children's Services records. There is normally contingency arrangements for EDT to have a read only version when live mosaic is not available.

There may be times in unforeseen situations / technical problems when mosaic is not available In these circumstances EDT staff will exercise their professional judgment and act on the information made available to them and in the best interests of the service user based on the information available to them.

9. Information for EDT

Day time teams should notify EDT if they are likely to be contacted out of hours.

Information that EDT may require should be e-mailed to them on the Information for the EDT form (which is routinely sent to social workers) information should be clear and concise with clarification about what course of action is recommended by the day time team as detailed on the headings of this form. (An EDT alert can also be sent on Mosaic to the EDT duty worker through the start workflow icon).

All referrals/information to EDT must be followed up with a telephone call to ensure that:

  1. EDT have received this information;
  2. To enable the EDT worker to clarify any matters as necessary.

This is particularly important where there are complex issues and further clarification may be required.

It is also beneficial for case records to be up to date and case summary available when necessary on complex and ever-changing cases.