Briefing updates

Check the latest updates from the daily briefings.

August Updates

  • 10/08/2022
    Update – In light of the current warmer weather we currently are, and going to continue experiencing, we are looking to capture some data on calls specifically relating to this. In order to support us in capturing this data, we ask the following:
    • Please add ‘HEATWAVE 2’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the heatwave we are experiencing and possibly concerns regarding dealing with the heat.
    • By adding the key word at the top of your notes will help us to easily identify the case. Thank you in advance.
    • Coping with a heatwave guidance is in the signposting section or can be accessed here
  • 09/08/2022
    Update – London Gas Explosion
    A major gas explosion led to the collapse of a house and damage to others in south London information is provided in the gas explosion section of the operator manual referral section detailing the address of the local rest centre where the council and BRC volunteers are supporting residents

July updates

  • 04/08/2022 AM
    UPDATE – SLOM safeguarding update:
    Both the safeguarding page and safeguarding processes pages on the SLOM are now password protected. Please use your Operator section password to gain access.
  • 21/07/2022 PM
    ***UPDATE – When the caller phones the line and select NSL, once the general greeting has played they are informed of the anonymous survey and that they can stay on the line at the end of the call.***

    We have now introduced an option for callers to leave feedback via an automated survey. If the caller stays on the line at the end of the call they will have the option to answer a few simple questions about their experience of the call they’ve had, including the extent to which we’ve helped meet their needs and how helpful the call operator has been.

    If operators could please ask callers at the end of the call “If you would like to give feedback on the call today, please stay on the line, this will take no longer than 2 minutes. Otherwise please feel free to hang up”.

    NB – This feedback is NOT associated to an individual operator.
  • 20/07/2022
    London Fires Update

    Recently there has been a number of house fires in the Havering and Dagenham areas. Some properties are completely destroyed, some uninhabitable, others damaged or can’t go back to yet. Our Crisis Response team have volunteers onsite, capacity dependant, supporting residents and providing emotional support. Many of the Havering residents affected have been put up in hotels and a rest centre has been set up. Dagenham has a Community Assistance Centre set up, both addresses to be added are in the local referral page under London Fires.

    Residents are being signposted to NSL for one off emotional and/or practical support. There is a BRC Fire Support Pack in the Operator Manual (Local referral page in the London Fires) with relevant signposting that can help those affected and some additional signposts available which will be added to this update on the SLOM. In order for us to capture specific data on these call types, please add ‘LONDON FIRES’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the London Fires.

    Click here to open BRC Fire Support Pack (signposting information for most queries at the end of the guide)
  • 20/07/2022
    BRC Door to Door collection


    Please be aware the British Red Cross is once again doing door to door collection, BRC volunteers will give their name and ID and will be wearing a BRC Lanyard. If a SU has any concerns to the legitimacy of the BRC volunteer please signpost them to 0300 456 1155 (SupporterCare) where the ID will be verified and the SU informed if they are members of the BRC or not. The website with all the information and the Phone number will be added to the signposting guide
  • 18/07/2022
    Polite reminder

    The opening hours for the Ukraine Escalation line (159) are Monday-Friday 10:00-17:00.  
  • 15/07/2022
    Automated feedback survey

    We have now introduced an option for callers to leave feedback via an automated survey. If the caller stays on the line at the end of the call they will have the option to answer a few simple questions about their experience of the call they’ve had, including the extent to which we’ve helped meet their needs and how helpful the call operator has been.

    If operators could please ask callers at the end of the call “If you would like to give feedback on the call today, please stay on the line, this will take no longer than 2 minutes. Otherwise please feel free to hang up”.

    NB – This feedback is NOT associated to an individual operator
  • 14/07/2022
    Potential high intensity repeat caller

    We have received reports of calls from a male SU who uses language such as ECT, psychological manipulation and talks about his own experiences relating to this as well as poor health as a result. We have also been advised that he can at times use inappropriate language as well as be quite coercive in getting operators to agree with his opinions surrounding such treatments. Please be reminded of the scripts available within the operator manual in relation to dealing with Inappropriate and or/abusive callers & Guidance for Dynamics as well as the HIU Process.
  • 12/07/2022
    Case notes update

    We are looking to capture some additional data than usual on specific types of calls we are receiving on the line. In order to support with this, we ask the following:

    Please add ‘HEATWAVE’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the heatwave we are experiencing and possibly concerns regarding dealing with the heat.

    Please add ‘UKR HPH’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received from Ukrainians whose housing placements have broken down and have therefore become homeless.

    By adding the key word at the top of your notes will help us to easily identify the case. Thank you in advance.
  • 7/07/2022
    Update on referrals to the North area

    The North area cell is facing low capacity and limited resources for dealing with referrals. They have stopped medication pick ups and are only handling food referrals at the present time. However, they are unlikely to pick up food referrals on same day. Operators should manage expectations and continue to signpost to Trussell Trust, Salvation Army, local authorities, local surgery and GP and friends and family.
  • 6/07/2022
    Safeguarding update

    Gentle reminder: Safeguarding normal hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
    The team can be reached 24/7 but please only call out of hours if there is an emergency that cannot wait until the next working day.

    Note that SAT officers working out of hours are on call and not expected to be at their desk doing case work. They can only give advice. They may also provide instructions of follow up actions needed. Any advice or instructions should be noted accurately in the summary notes and the appropriate supervisor/operator should take action as soon as possible.
    NSL cases are only reviewed during normal hours by Ataa.
  • 5/07/2022
    Bedford gas explosion

    FYI – A major gas explosion at a block of flats in Bedford has led to two people being taken to hospital with serious injuries, and hundreds from the affected block of flats and adjoining buildings being evacuated. A rest centre has been opened nearby for evacuees.
    This information is just a heads up that this has happened in case anyone does call, we haven’t been asked to provide a specific response, but local teams may signpost to us for psychosocial support.

June updates

  • 29/06/2022
    Safeguarding cases

    Reminder that operators should not be sending Ataa emails regarding cases. The process has not changed. These emails are sent by the Operational Support Team members only. Please make it clear in the notes when the case should be emailed to Ataa.
  • 23/06/2022
    Earthquake in Afghanistan

    When receiving calls regarding the recent earthquake in Afghanistan please ensure you add ‘Afghanistan earthquake’ in your notes. This will allow us to understand how many queries we’re receiving and to prepare appropriate guidance. We’re in touch with International team on further guidance/ information.
  • 17/06/2022
    CBA and SIM requests follow up calls

    The process for CBA and SIM requests follow up calls has been updated, i.e. if the caller query is about the request they placed 10 days ago (or longer) and still haven’t heard back, please fill out the MS form (available in Ukraine Updates page). The form will be picked up by the CBA team and they will get back to the caller to inform them on the progress of the application.

    This means we no longer transfer these calls to P159 to follow up the application progress. The process in the SLOM has been updated.
  • 9/06/2022
    CBA cards activation

    The card ops team which are responsible for activating CBA cash cards has let us know that their phone line 03003321425 is currently inundated with a high volume of calls from people having issues with their card activations, this is causing long waiting times and delays in getting responses.

    The main issue is that people are trying to activate their CBA cards using a different phone number to what was used on their CBA application. Callers experiencing this issue can be transferred to P159/7159 Ukraine Line where we will be able to check their application and let them know which phone number is used on the CBA application.

May updates

  • 31/05/2022
    Reminder for operators from the area cells:
    When requesting referral to local area, please make sure to include in the notes all signposts suggested to the Service User. This will help with understanding what help they already tried to get and will prevent area repeating the same information when speaking to SUs.
  • 25/05/2022
    International Family Tracing (IFT)

    We reached out to our colleagues from IFT for clarification on the process of signposting to the service. Currently, on their website the message on cyber attack is still displayed. However, if the query is related to Ukraine you can either contact the National Team via this email: findyour_family@redcross.org.uk OR go to the BRC website IFT page which has information on the current situation. Email is also found on there.

    Reporting war crimes

    The message below comes from the Met Police regarding any callers who would want to report war crimes.
    People are invited to make contact us via the below link on our website which is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

    https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

    We are particularly interested to hear from people who have been a victim or witness to a war crime, those who have digital media (the portal has a function to upload) and anyone with information which they think may be useful.

    Update (27/05/2022): If there is an issue with giving out the above website please direct the caller to 101 to report war crimes over the phone or if unable to do this they can visit their local police station.
  • 25/05/2022
    International Family Tracing (IFT)

    We reached out to our colleagues from IFT for clarification on the process of signposting to the service. Currently, on their website the message on cyber attack is still displayed. However, if the query is related to Ukraine you can either contact the National Team via this email: findyour_family@redcross.org.uk OR go to the BRC website IFT page which has information on the current situation. Email is also found on there.

    Reporting war crimes

    The message below comes from the Met Police regarding any callers who would want to report war crimes.
    People are invited to make contact us via the below link on our website which is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

    https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

    We are particularly interested to hear from people who have been a victim or witness to a war crime, those who have digital media (the portal has a function to upload) and anyone with information which they think may be useful.

    Update (27/05/2022): If there is an issue with giving out the above website please direct the caller to 101 to report war crimes over the phone or if unable to do this they can visit their local police station.
  • 21/05/2022
    Update Re London Tactical Cell

    London will be picking up referrals coming through from now on, as before, please do not send referrals in for transport or medication pick-up, but where there is a very urgent need for food that could not be solved through signposting to foodbanks etc they can be processed. Cases will be picked up on weekends as well, however, there will be no out of hours support available M-F.
  • 20/05/2022
    Transferring CBA/SIM calls

    Any CBA/SIM calls where you are just transferring them to the Ukraine line (7148) and no other support is offered (I.e. signposting/ Psychosocial support), you no longer need to create a case in Dynamics.
  • 19/05/2022
    Safeguarding: 999 calls

    As per the safeguarding process, call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. NHS 111 can help if you need urgent medical help or you’re not sure what to do.

    If there are any other situations you feel may need a 999 call please ensure you always call SAT first. None of the NSL staff or volunteers are expected (or should be) making decisions regarding safeguarding actions.
  • 16/05/2022
    SIM card applications – address

    When filling out the application for SIM Cards, please ensure that the address details are in correct fields. We came across the applications when all info has been copied in to each cell (number, first line of address, postcode). This causes additional admin work and delays processing the applications.

    Please add service user’s address as on the picture below:
  • 13/05/2022
    NHS Volunteer Responders Ceasing Operations

    The NHS Volunteer Responders service is ending today and has been removed from the signposting guide. We have added the Community Transport Association as a possible alternative signpost. This is a site with contact details for local transport options around the UK.
  • 12/05/2022
    Existing SIM/Cash Based Assistance Applications

    Please remind Operators that they should not signpost callers to BRCs Supporter Care team with enquiries about existing SIM/Cash Based Assistance applications. It seems the supporter care email address may have been given out for this, but, they are unable to follow up with existing applications.

    The callers’ expectations should be managed by informing them that as we are currently experiencing a high volume of requests, there may be some delay in processing applications.

April updates

  • 30/04/2022
    Outsourced Ukraine Support Line
    The outsourced Ukraine line is now live. When caller phones the NSL Mon – Fri they will be prompted to press 3 for Ukraine line, then prompted to press 1 for requests for cash or Sims and 2 for all other Ukraine queries.

    At weekend they will still press 3 for Ukraine then 1 for Cash/Sims and all other enquiries will route back to NSL.

    If calls for SIMs/Cash go to NSL they can let the caller know there is a dedicated team looking after that and transfer the call to the Ukraine line – 7148 or search for ‘Ukraine Support’.
  • 29/04/2022
    SIM card application forms

    When completing Microsoft forms for SIM card requests, please ensure that you are using the link currently in the operator manual and not any that you may previously have bookmarked. Some operators have been using an outdated form. Thank you.
  • 27/04/2022
    Postcode field in Dynamics

    The postcode field in Dynamics has been updated and is live as of today. From now on, the operators need to type the first half of the postcode (including digit/s) to look up territory, e.g. NE1 (For Newcastle). If caller is anonymous and shared the area only, the operator should apply any postcode for this area, e.g. if they said they are in Glasgow it could be G1. For callers who do not provide any location information, we can still enter “UK” for postcode lookup.
  • 24/04/2022
    Cash-based assistance eligibility and duplicate applications

    Gentle reminder: Applicants for cash-based assistance need to apply within 14 days of entering the UK. Can operators please check that service users meet this requirement when speaking to these service users.

    We are also seeing some duplicate applications for cash-based assistance, possibly because the backlog of cases has led service users to believe that their application hasn’t been processed. Can operators please check that service users have not already made an application when taking these calls. Thank you.
  • 20/04/2022
    Cash-based assistance data collection

    Please could operators ensure that they are collecting the information for the person requiring support when completing the Cash Based Assistance forms. If the caller is the sponsor, we don’t need their details but the Ukrainian Refugees they are calling on behalf of.
  • 20/04/2022
    Backlog on cash-based assistance payments
    Please could operators inform callers applying for Cash Based Assistance that we currently have a backlog so there may be a delay in processing the payments. We are working to clear this backlog this week.
  • 19/04/2022
    Ataa not working today

    Ataa from the safeguarding team will be off work today. Please contact SAT with any urgent cases which cannot wait until the following day.
  • 16/04/2022
    Calls from other services who receive NSL or Ukraine related calls
    There have been many reports from other BRC services that they receive ‘our’ calls (NSL or Ukraine related), while the caller believes they chose our number.

    The automated messaging of the main BRC UK Office number offers redirection to different parts of the organisation. Some of the callers might not be sure which option will redirect them to NSL or Ukraine line, so they might choose a random digit, or the one they think is most relevant. This could be the case especially with callers who speak very little English.

    When receiving the calls from other services regarding this issue, please advise them to transfer calls to NSL number (if they have this functionality) or to give callers our free phone number 0808 196 3651 which will direct them to NSL.
  • 14/04/2022
    Signposts added to Dynamics
    As we are now involved in the Cash Based Assistance Scheme (CBA) & the sim card offer, we have now added these to Dynamics as a quick and easier way to identify these call types.

    You will need to select the 3 dots under Local Signposts > New Local Signpost > Signpost > British Red Cross > Signpost Category, > and then either, Cash Based Assistance Scheme (CBA) / OR – Sim Card Offer – Tesco / OR – Sim Card Offer – Vodafone (example picture below).

    This update will be added to SLOM asap along with screen shots as a visual of where to select.
  • 13/04/2022
    Vodafone and Tesco SIM offer
    There is a scheme for ANYONE who is digitally excluded, to receive a free SIM from Vodaphone (or Tesco’s if fleeing from Ukraine). The process is that the Operator will complete a simple MS Form which will go to the Cash Based Assistance team and who will post the SIMs. NSL operators will still create an anonymous case and mark in the notes “SIM request”.

    Below is the link to the form which contains step by step guidance. Please fill out this form
    https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=ujzc_l7KiEOoN7Rcfw1xt7yuyhmlkD5KgRjogZMHQhJUN01CVk0xTVA1TjFUNjBGSUI4TlM0MU5NUS4u
    This information and the link are in the SLOM: Ukraine Updates page > Advice on Ukraine Queries > SIM card.
  • 12/04/2022
    Cash Based Assistance Information for operators

    From today onwards, we will now be taking part in the Cash Based Assistance Scheme for Ukrainians.

    The scheme is available for Ukrainians entering the UK via visa or sponsorship schemes or with permitted entry and a stamped passport from UK Border Force. We are asking Operators where required, to take details using Microsoft Form where you will also see a consent statement that must be read out. This form will automatically come through to our staff team who will contact the SU and provide details of what evidence they must provide for verification purposes before they may be granted the funds.

    All criteria, the form and the full process is available in SLOM (Ukraine Updates page > Advice on Ukraine queries > Cash Based Assistance).
    We are currently working on an FAQs document specifically relating to the Cash Based Assistance scheme and will update you all once this is completed and added to SLOM.

March updates

  • 26/03/3022 PM
    Update on Glasgow Strikes


    The Glasgow home care strikes on the 29th & 30th of March have been postponed. If there are any calls please reassure the caller that their home care service will be provided as normal next week.

    The next planned dates (20/21 April) for industrial action are remaining in place. Depending on the outcome of talks with the council these date may go ahead or be cancel. The HSPC & Glasgow City Council will keep service users aware of the outcome of these talks and if any action goes ahead there will be support put in place.If service users have quries please direct the to contact Glasgow City Council or the HSPC (please be aware at the moment the HSPC information is accessed online so if they would line a number please make a signpost to Glasgow City Council).
  • 26/03/3022 PM
    Industrial action by Glasgow Health and Social Care Workers


    The National Support Line is starting to receive calls regarding a planned industrial action by the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership on March 28th and 29th. The British Red Cross in this area is preparing to offer support to Glasgow HSPC.

    If a caller is looking for general information regarding these services, please signpost to either HSPC (https://glasgowcity.hscp.scot/) or the Glasgow City Council (https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/). If a caller needs assistance with food or expresses other critical need, please take their consent and details. OST will forward these to the Red Cross Glasgow area cell who may be able to help them.

    Please do NOT make any local referrals for food or medication for these callers. Manage expectations. Updates may be forthcoming.
  • 24/03/3022 PM
    High Intensity Caller script


We are providing operators with a suggested script for dealing with High Intensity Users. The script is only there to be followed as a guide but we mainly want to convey these key messages:
Let them know…
– They’ve been identified as a Frequent Caller
– Why we are doing this (In order to make our services accessible to all callers with limited resources)
– What we are doing i.e. (we need to limit the frequency and duration of conversations with regular callers. We are still able to speak to you every day if needed, however this will be limited to one call each day of 30 minutes maximum.)

Suggested Script: Before we continue our conversation, I need to let you know that we’ve identified you as a regular caller. In order to make our services accessible to all callers, with limited resources, we need to limit the frequency and duration of conversations with regular callers. We are still able to speak to you every day if needed, however this will be limited to one call each day of 30 minutes maximum. (The script is available at the top of the page in sections ‘Scripts’).

This will be used as a script for all high intensity users, once we (in the staff management team) decide a management plan is required.

For this specific individual, depending on his response to our message, we will also remind him of other support services available to him, such as Samaritans and also advise him that if he feels in immediate danger, he can call 999, present himself at A&E or follow up with his care coordinator.

  • 22/03/2022 PM
    Repeat food support requests, Central area

    Please be aware that we have received calls from the Central area, possibly using different names, looking to obtain food vouchers despite already receiving food support – sometimes on multiple occasions. We kindly request that operators check names and phone numbers against existing records and advise that we are unable to provide further support to these service users.
  • 17/03/2022

Currently the Restoring Family Links team are started to make Data Breach notification calls to service users who have been impacted by the data breach. In the course of this, some service users are concerned that the callers are not genuine and from the British Red Cross.

If we receive a call of this nature, can you please ask operators to signpost SUs back to the webpage
http://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/find-missing-family/faqs-for-family-tracing-users

or 0300 373 0192 number which they can return the calls on.

  • 16/03/2022

Gentle reminder: Safeguarding Cases
Please remember to take full contact details when creating safeguarding details. The safeguarding team needs this information in order to process cases. If a case requires Datix, please include the name of the safeguarding officer you speak to regarding the call.

  • 14/03/2022 PM

The Homes for Ukraine
The UK Government has revealed details of a new scheme to help Ukraine people fleeing the conflict. The Homes for Ukraine programme, to be rolled out this week, will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring people escaping the war to safety – even if they have no ties to the UK.
Until full details are available we suggest accessing the following link where we anticipate information will be made available.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk (the link is available in the Ukraine Updates page > Other links)

  • 14/03/2022 PM
    Gentle Reminder: Ukraine Signpost to UKO

    Please do not signpost any callers to UKO for any Ukraine-related queries. UKO are not able to provide support with advice on the Ukraine situation or individual cases and are not set up as a walk-in centre therefore do not have capacity to support. When dealing with calls on NSL, please be sure to signpost appropriately and according to the caller’s needs. Use the signpost section of SLOM for guidance on where best to signpost and use your on-shift supervisor as support via WhatsApp or call if needed.
  • 9/03/2022
    Callers offering accommodation for refugees


    We have received a number of calls from people looking to offer accommodation for refugees. In response, we have added two new organisations to the signposting guide: Rooms for Refugees and Refugees at Home. Please note that refugees cannot self-refer to these services, we should only use them for people looking to offer accommodation.

    We can also signpost these callers to their local council.
  • 9/03/2022
    New Ukraine queries line

    As mentioned in the Whatsapp group message and email, we have created a new line dedicated to calls relating to the situation in Ukraine. When a caller phones the NSL, they will hear 4 options:

    -Press 1 for donations (this will direct them to Support Care)
    – If your enquiry relates to the Ukraine emergency, unfortunately we are not in a position to transport clothing, blankets and other aid items. Please visit our website at www.redcross.org.uk to find out how you can support our Ukrainian appeal.
    – Or if you would like to speak to someone regarding the Ukraine emergency, please press 2 to speak to one of our dedicated agents.
    -If you feel worried, lonely, or need access to food and medication or for anything else press 3 for The National Support Line.

    The new line goes live at 10am today (Wed 9th March) and will be operational between 10-6 Monday to Friday. The new line is intended to deal with calls regarding advice and signposting and will be using the same information we have in the operator manual. We are still likely to deal with callers on the NSL requiring emotional support in relation to the Ukraine emergency.
  • 4/03/2022
    Ukraine language reminder

    Please read the language guide on the Ukraine section of the operator manual and be sure to use neutral language on calls and when making any notes. The Red Cross must remain impartial in conflicts. Please avoid words such as invasion, attack and aggression. Better alternatives include: conflict, violence or the situation in Ukraine.
  • 4/03/2022
    Collecting information for International Family Tracing

    International Family Tracing: Please do not record the names or other details of family members whom service users are attempting to trace in your case notes or anywhere else. IFT will contact the service user directly to take this information.
  • 1/03/2022
    Ukraine updates

    A group of volunteer legal professionals with immigration/asylum expertise was set up on 28 February 2022 to provide free UK immigration and asylum advice to Ukrainian citizens affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

    To request advice, people should contact ukraine@freemovement.org.uk with some details of their circumstances and advice needed. They will do their best to connect them to a lawyer.

February updates

  • 27/02/2022 PM
    Ukraine updates
    We know there are many difficult calls coming in about the situation in Ukraine. There might be some queries that we don’t have answers to at this point in time.
    We’re working on finding as much as we can for you, but for now the most up to date information that we have can be found in the Ukraine updates page and FAQ document available at the bottom of the page that has been prepared by colleagues in Crisis Response.

    Please direct the callers to the BRC page https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/international/ukraine as well as to the government updates and advice on https://www.gov.uk/world/ukraine/news.

    Please bear with us while we’re preparing more specific guidance on how to handle these difficult calls. For now, we’re attaching the guidance that is available at the moment, hoping it will be helpful not only for the callers but for all of you as well.

    Watch this video on CALMER framework
  • 22/02/2022 PM
    Storms in Cornwall
    If we have any calls to the National Support Line regarding the recent storms in Cornwall, please inform callers that there is a dedicated helpline for residents who need support.
    Residents affected by power cuts and needing extra support can call 03001231118
    > from 9am – 6pm today and tomorrow
    > from 10am on Wednesday
    where a team can give advice and pass on specific needs to other agencies or departments.

    You can also direct callers to see this link to the Cornwall government website for updates and more information: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-news/environment-culture-and-planning/update-on-storms-eunice-and-franklin/
  • 18/02/2022 PM
    Storm/flood details

In light of the current Weather warnings, our colleagues in Crisis Response have kindly put together some information and weblinks in order for you to be able to provide our callers with the best possible support. There are several web links:
Met Office Weather Warnings page,
BRC page on how to support during a storm
Helping callers find out who their electricity provider is
How to stay safe in storms and floods and what to do with power outages.

Please take some time to familiarise yourself with these details and web links and reach out to your on shift Supervisor if you require any further help.

For all calls relating to the weather warning please add ‘STORM EUNICE’ to the top of your case notes.


Supervisors- if any queries crop up that you cannot get answers for in the SLOM update then please reach out to OST for further guidance.

If the service user calls 105 they will be put through to their power suppliers emergency number (added 21/02/2022 PM)

  • 16/02/2022
    Language Line issue resolved

    Language Line issue is now resolved. Please continue to call in the usual way by searching ‘Language Line’ in the search bar and connecting via conference call. (See SLOM for guidance).

    If you are having any technical issues please note down the time, what the issue is, what you did or tried to do, what happened when you did this and inform your supervisor so that OST can be informed. This way we can raise this with Language Line to fix.
  • 15/02/2022
    British family members in Ukraine

    If you are concerned about a British family member in Ukraine please contact the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office by email: fcdo.correspondence@fcdo.gov.uk or by calling 020 7008 5000
  • 14/02/2022
    Children and Families Across Borders

    Children and Families Across Borders signpost’s description has been updated in the Signposting page. The organisation does not provide family tracing services. Signpost to BRC and Salvation Army Family Tracing services instead.
  • 11/02/2022
    Mitel
    Calls on the support line are offered by Mitel to operators in a specific order.
    The operators who are set to available for the longest amount of time are at the top of the queue and should receive incoming calls first. The operators who have only just set themselves onto available will be at the bottom of the queue.

    An issue has been reported by operators who have noticed that the system sometimes skips an operator or more than one operator who is waiting on available in the queue. In these instances the system instead offers the call to the person at the bottom of the queue.

    In this instance, the operator is advised to logout and log back in, as this usually helps to fix the issue.

    If operators experience this happening please report this on Whatsapp and the Ops Support Team will log it so we can work on the fix.
  • 10/02/2022
    Northern Ireland Medication Referrals

    The Northern Ireland area has confirmed that it does not provide medicine pickup and delivery. Please do not make these kinds of referrals to the area.
  • 8/02/2022
    Independent Living and Transport update

    Independent Living and Transport have now been removed from the list of referrals offer in the local areas. Please signpost Independent Living related queries to the BRC Support at Home (available in the SLOM, signposting page). The services might also provide transport to/from hospital, so please use this option in case of transport queries (as well as external signposts).

    When signposting to the above, please add signpost as normal, with BRC category and choose ‘Independent Living’ from the list of services.
  • 02/02/2022
    Searching before creating new contact records


    GENTLE REMINDER: Before creating a new contact record for referrals, please check that we don’t already have the service user on our system by searching for their name and telephone number. Duplicate records can cause confusion and delays in providing services. Thank you.

January updates

  • 31/01/2022
    Power shortages (particularly in the North area)

    If calls are received regarding power shortages, we have been advised we can’t help on individual cases and that the SU will need to contact their power suppliers. If they are vulnerable, they will be passed on to the local BRC responders by the power company.

    Also, to reiterate: power suppliers are responsible for providing hot food and water to SU. Vulnerable people include: disabled individuals on machines, families with young children and/or vulnerable children that would be impacted by this.

    SUs may call 105 free of charge to find out who their energy provider is if they do not know, and will put them through to their local network operator who can give you help and advice.
  • 28/01/2022
    North Area Independent Living

    North area no longer has capacity to respond to any NSL Independent Living (IL) referrals. This is likely to continue for some time while IL colleagues are managing their seasonal surge work and their existing contracts. We have reached out to the area for some possible alternative signposts so please watch this space for any updates.
  • 23/01/2022
    BRC ICRC Data Breach

    Restoring Family Links (RFL) beneficiary data belonging to around 60 National Societies and other partners hosted on external systems managed by the ICRC has been compromised in a major cyber security incident.

    We may receive calls to The National Support Line from callers who are concerned about the impact of this. Please use the FAQ document below to respond to any questions.

    If the caller requires a follow up call or further action is required, please complete the MS forms (as well as the case notes).

    This form can be used if:

    Callers have an ongoing case with the International Family Tracing service which requires urgent action
    Callers are concerned they (or their families) are at increased risk as a result of the data breach
    Callers would like British Red Cross to delete their data from BRC systems (the ‘right to be forgotten’)
    Callers would like to receive copies of their personal data held by BRC (a ‘subject access request’)

    For further information please see:
    International Family Tracing Data Breach FAQ

    NB – Please ask operators if they do receive any calls of this nature, to add the words “DATA BREACH” in the case notes. (Updated 26/1)
  • 21/01/2022
    Referrals guidance

    When making referrals for food, transport or medication, we should be checking whether service users have exhausted other options for support. This ensures local areas aren’t overwhelmed by referrals and that they can prioritise giving support to the service users whose need is most urgent.
    It’s important that we record in summary notes the steps service users have already taken, such as contacting the Trussel Trust or NHS Volunteer Responders, and explain that they haven’t been able to obtain support in other ways, or that they aren’t able to use these services due to disability or other reasons.

    Please see the Winter Referrals Guide on SLOM for further information.
  • 20/01/2022
    Safeguarding officer on AL

    Ataa Amo, the NSL dedicated safeguarding officer, is on annual leave from January 18 to 25th. In her absence, please contact the Safeguarding Assurance Team on 0300 004 0377 (this number is in Mitel). Please follow all other normal procedures established in the Operator Manual.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    Signposting update

    Looking at the use of the current signpost categories and comparing with the types of calls we receive and signposting given, we have recognised the following signposts are being used frequently and as a result, have now added these additional local signposts to our current database on Dynamics and Sandbox.

    They are as follows:
    -Trussell Trust
    -Turn 2 Us
    -Age UK
    -Citizens Advice

    Please ensure that for those organisations you firstly choose the category as normal, and then add them in ‘Related Organisation’ field (as in the picture below). This will help with our reporting and understanding how we can support these callers better.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    The Operational Management Team would like to take this opportunity to bring you the news that our long-standing volunteer, Lesley Smith, has decided to step away from the Support Line for the foreseeable future. She spoke with Martyn on Monday to let him know about her decision, and they agreed that she would personally inform her fellow volunteers in last night’s drop-in session.

    Lesley will continue to retain a connection to the service as a trainer for our Support Line Operator course. We will share the information with all our colleagues via email and will also include in the next supervisor/operator newsletters.

    Clare will continue to facilitate the drop ins going forward.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    Signposting update

    Looking at the use of the current signpost categories and comparing with the types of calls we receive and signposting given, we have recognised the following signposts are being used frequently and as a result, have now added these additional local signposts to our current database on Dynamics and Sandbox.

    They are as follows:
    -Trussell Trust
    -Turn 2 Us
    -Age UK
    -Citizens Advice

    Please ensure that for those organisations you firstly choose the category as normal, and then add them in ‘Related Organisation’ field (as in the picture below). This will help with our reporting and understanding how we can support these callers better.
  • 18/01/2022
    Additional Queue update

    We have been reviewing the performance of the additional queue since it began. It would appear that having an operator logged into both queues is causing an increase in dropped calls. As a result, we are going to trial having the designated operator/operators signed in just to the additional queue. This means having up to 2 Operators logged in to the line for their whole shift.
    Where there is lower capacity, 1 Operator should be logged in and on shifts with larger capacity, 2 Operators should be assigned to log in to P025. You should use your discretion on less busier shifts/times and utilise 1 of the 2 Ops logged in to the new queue who may do any call backs needed.
  • 09/01/2022
    NSL Operators Whatsapp Group

    A gentle reminder to all operators and supervisors: when queries appear on the whatsapp chat it is for the supervisor only to respond and other operators should not be responding to these queries. The reason for this is to maintain clear channels of communication and to avoid instances where incorrect information or advice is given out. Supervisors should always be monitoring the chat but if operators see that there are unanswered queries in the whatsapp group they should reach out to the supervisor by ringing the supervisor line.