Use this short guide to help you remember what steps to follow when speaking to the Support Line callers and what information should be collected.
- Use an appropriate greeting, e.g., ‘Hello, how can I help you today?’
- You don’t have to provide your name to the caller, but it’s okay if you feel comfortable to do so.
- Ask for the caller’s name at an appropriate point in the conversation (callers may not wish to provide their names and if we are not referring them to a local area this is NOT essential)
Establish the caller’s need
Listen to the reasons why the caller contacted the Support Line.
- Use your questioning skills to establish the purpose of the call and verbally acknowledge that you understand why they called, before proceeding with assistance.
- Acknowledge the callers request and advise a suitable course of action (Managing expectations).
Should I always collect the caller’s personal data?
In some cases we won’t necessarily need to collect the caller’s personal data.
We collect personal data only if the caller requires practical support from the local area cell or of it’s a safeguarding concern.
In all other cases collecting the data is not required.
If the call is anonymous, collect only the first letter(s) of postcode to establish the area.
Follow the consent process*
- Read the consent script
- Collect EDI information, if appropriate
*only if the case requires data collection
Search the database by typing the name of the caller in the ‘Search this view’ box on the ‘Active Contacts’ page, or alphabetically by selecting the letter of their first name at the bottom of the screen.
- If you find the contact on the system, you’ll need to ask them to confirm:
Two of the below from the Contact Form:
- Their full name and postcode, or
- Their full name and phone number, or
- their full name and address (house name/number and Road or Town/City (referred to as Territory in the database)).
One piece of information from their previous call such as:
- When the service user last contacted the support line – this can be seen in the ‘Created on’ column of the ‘Caller Cases’ table below the ‘Contact Information’
- Signposting services provided – shown on the right side of the main Case screen
- Types of referrals made – shown on the right side of the main Case screen
If the caller is not on the database, we will have to create a new contact for the caller.
Create a new contact
Ask the caller if we have consent to keep their details on the database (Script on database)
Information that should be recorded on the ‘New contact’ record:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Postcode (Full)
- Mobile or Home phone number
Create a new case
Information that should be recorded in ‘Summary Notes’
- Brief details of the call
- Details of their immediate need e.g. food or medication
- Specific details of the service they were signposted to, if any
- Details of actions regarding safeguarding (See Safeguarding below)
- (For further information, see Case Note Guidance on Operator Manual.)
‘Support’ section of case
In this section of the case you are keeping a record of the support you provided on the call.
- Psychosocial Support: Select ‘yes’ if you provided emotional support to the caller during the call.
- Safeguarding Activated: Select ‘yes’ if you had safeguarding concerns and followed the necessary safeguarding procedures set out in the Operator Manual. Once you have selected ‘yes’, another field will appear where you should type the category that safeguarding concern fell into. You will find these safeguarding categories in the Operator Manual.
In this section of the case you are keeping a record of where you signposted the caller. You only need to choose the category that signpost would fall into; e.g. Financial Support, Loneliness and Isolation, rather than the specific organisation such as Age UK, or Samaritans.
You must make a record of your signpost in this section, as well as detailing the signpost in the summary notes.
Here you are keeping a record of the immediate need the caller requires. This could be medication or food, for example. In this section, extra fields will appear when certain response types are selected. Such as:
- Days’ worth of food
- Dietary Requirements
- Days’ worth of medication
- Details of pharmacy
You must make a record of your local referral in this section, as well as detailing the need in the summary notes.
Once you’ve entered all the information on the case, change ‘Ready to Review’ to ‘Yes’, and save & close the case.