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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

1.5.3 Emergency Duty Team


This document is the Children & Adults' Services Emergency Duty Team Operational Procedure. It contains information on the role of the Emergency Duty Team (EDT); the procedures for EDT staff and the arrangements between the EDT and day services in both Children's and Adults Divisions.



Salford Policies & Procedures

Children's Services Policies and Procedures

Salford Child Protection Procedures, available at Salford Safeguarding Children's Partnership.

Salford Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures


This chapter was amended in May 2018 to reflect the current organisational structure and to note the service hours have changed (see Section 3, EDT Resources and Organisation).


Caption: contents list 1.5.3
1. Introduction
  1.1 Statement of Purpose of the Emergency Duty Team (EDT)
  1.2 Service Objectives
  1.3 Service Standards
2. Relationship with Day Services
  2.1 Working Arrangements between EDT and Day Staff
  2.2 Responsibility for Referrals
  2.3 Criteria for Referral to EDT
  2.4 "Alerts" for EDT from Day Staff
  2.5 Communication of EDT Referrals to Day Staff
3. EDT Resources and Organisation
  3.1 Rota
  3.2 Annual Leave
  3.3 Sickness
  3.4 Working Arrangements
  3.5 Management Cover
  3.6 Supervision, Appraisals, Performance Management and Training
  3.7 Team Meetings
  3.8 Quality Assurance
4. EDT Service Procedures
  4.1 Use of EDT Service Procedures

1. Introduction

Caption: table Intro


Statement of Purpose of the Emergency Duty Team (EDT)

  1.1.1 The principal responsibility of the EDT is to respond to out of hours referrals where intervention from the local authority is required to safeguard a vulnerable child or adult, and where it would not be safe, appropriate or lawful to delay that intervention to the next working day.
  1.1.2 The EDT may also deal with referrals, which are not assessed as emergencies but where delay before intervention by day staff could cause deterioration in the welfare or safety of the subject of the referral.
  1.1.3 The EDT is not intended to provide the same level of service that is available during normal office hours. It does not have the resources to do so, either in terms of staff or access to information and support from partner agencies.


Service Objectives


The EDT will:

  1. Fulfil statutory requirements and all Salford Safeguarding Children's Partnership policies and procedures when responding to referrals;
  2. Deal with referrals in order of priority and with regard to the possible consequences of delay;
  3. Aim to ensure that the "best value" response is made to all referrals;
  4. Ensure that referring agencies and individuals are kept fully informed as to Children & Adults Services responses and advised where there is unavoidable delay in dealing with referrals;
  5. Act in compliance with statutory requirements and all Salford Council's policies and procedures in delivering a timely response to referrals made outside of office hours;
  6. Deploy internal Children & Adults Services resources and acquire resources from other service providers as necessary and appropriate to meet assessed service needs;
  7. Ensure that referring agencies and individuals are kept informed where there is unavoidable delay in dealing with referrals;
  8. Maintain sufficient knowledge of local authority and other services to be able to screen and re-direct referrals which are not appropriate for the EDT to respond to;
  9. Seek to foster good working relationships with all other out-of-hours agencies;
  10. Ensure that at all times there are effective working relationships with day services;
  11. Negotiate clear responsibility for cases involving other local authorities, ensuring that Salford Council's responsibilities are always fully discharged, whether by the EDT or another authority;
  12. Provide a service, which positively reflects Salford Council's policies on equality and diversity, ensuring that services take account of issues of ethnicity, race, culture, disability, religion, sexuality and gender;
  13. Ensure that all referrals made and work carried out is clearly and fully recorded in line with Salford Council's requirements, and so as to enable day staff to progress work promptly and effectively;
  14. Ensure that, where appropriate, senior officers are informed of referrals;
  15. Represent Children & Adults Services positively to all other agencies and organisations, using delegated authority appropriately.


Service Standards


The EDT will meet the following service standards in line with guidance issued by the Regulatory Authority.

  1. Service users will receive a prompt and effective out of hours response, which is adequate to deal with the need referred and is sufficient to support service users until mainstream services can be provided, if necessary;
  2. The Children & Adults' Departments will maintain a clearly written, up-to-date and comprehensive policy for securing emergency out of hours services;
  3. The Children & Adults' Departments will work collaboratively with other agencies, and Departments, to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the provision of emergency out of hours services;
  4. Out of hours assessments will be sufficient to determine the nature and extent of the response, which will then be provided promptly;
  5. Emergency out of hour's services will be sensitive to issues of race, religion, language, culture, gender and disability;
  6. EDT staff will be appropriately recruited, trained, deployed and supervised;
  7. The Children & Adults' Departments will provide an organisational structure and management support to ensure the delivery of effective emergency out of hours services.

2. Relationship with Day Services

Caption: table containing section 2, Relationship with Day Services


Working Arrangements between EDT and Day Staff

  2.1.1 The EDT Service Manager will have a particular responsibility for ensuring that there are good operational links between the EDT and day services.


Responsibility for Referrals

  2.2.1 The EDT is only responsible for dealing with referrals, which are initially made outside office hours. Day staff should complete all work where the initial referral was made before 16.30hrs.

Where day staff consider that they are unable to complete a piece of work, the EDT may exceptionally take this on. Any such requests must be sanctioned by the Practice Manager and it is essential for day staff to speak directly to the EDT officer on duty to negotiate this. Any request must be followed up by an email. In exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to request that EDT carry out a home visit out of office hours. In such cases clear information must be provided about

  • The purpose of the visit;
  • Any known risk factors;
  • Any contingency plans.
  2.2.3 It is not acceptable for day staff to leave a message asking for the EDT to complete a piece of work.
  2.2.4 It is part of the role of the EDT to help and support day staff who are working outside normal hours. Any colleague working after normal hours can contact the EDT for advice, information, resources or assistance.


Criteria for Referral to EDT

  2.3.1 The EDT is principally responsible for providing an emergency service in situations where there is a real and immediate threat to life, safety, health or liberty. Additionally, the EDT will seek to provide a service where delay could cause deterioration in the welfare or safety of the subject of the referral.
  2.3.2 It is therefore not appropriate to make referrals to the EDT for routine monitoring of service users or carers out of hours. The EDT cannot guarantee to be available for this purpose, which must be covered in general care planning for a case.
  2.3.3 As outlined above, it will be unusual for day staff to make a referral for action, as the expectation is that day staff will normally complete work in which they are involved.
  2.3.4 When day staff do need to make a referral, the worker should ring the EDT contact number, leaving a telephone number on which they are available after 16.30hrs and the EDT officer on duty will contact them as soon as possible after coming on duty.


"Alerts" for EDT from Day Staff

  2.4.1 There will be occasions when day staff need to alert the EDT to referrals which may arise, giving background information and indicating a course of action which they would like the EDT to take. Contact details for an appropriate officer should normally be included. These "alerts" must be emailed to EDT and relevant case notes must be up to date on Carefirst to support decision making by the EDT officer.


Communication of EDT Referrals to Day Staff

  2.5.1 At the end of each EDT duty period it is the responsibility of the EDT officer who has dealt with a referral to ensure all activity is documented and forwarded to the relevant service by 08.30hrs the following working day.
  2.5.2 Where urgent follow-up is required of day staff, the EDT officer may in some circumstances ring the appropriate duty team to confirm actions required.

3. EDT Resources and Organisation

Caption: table containing section 3, EDT Resources and Organisation



  3.1.1 The EDT Practice Manager, is responsible for drawing up the rota, of working sessions for EDT staff.
  3.1.2 The EDT service is operational between 16.30hrs and 09:00hrs Monday to Friday, and at weekends from Friday at 16.30hrs through to 09:00hrs on Monday. The service is extended to cover Bank Holidays and other public holidays.
  3.1.3 The shift patterns for the EDT have been reviewed and take account of European Working Time Directives and interests of Health and Safety guidance.


Annual Leave

  3.2.1 Annual leave must be agreed by the Practice Manager, giving as much notice as possible. However, requests for leave at short notice will be accommodated wherever possible, subject to the exigencies of the service



  3.3.1 Where a social worker is unable to start or complete a shift because of illness, they must advise the Service Manager by 10.00hrs, who is responsible for arranging duty cover.


Working Arrangements

  3.4.1 The EDT service will normally be provided by one social worker on duty. The EDT worker will work with the switchboard workers to ensure that a quick and appropriate response is made to all referrals and that referrals are dealt with in order of priority.
  3.4.2 The duty social workers will take responsibility for managing the referrals made, consulting the on call manager when necessary. They will take decisions as to when it is appropriate to arrange for the client to be visited or whether the work can safely be dealt with by phone. All decisions involving expenditure of any resources will be documented for audit purposes.
  3.4.3 For the period covered by the EDT service there will be occasions (e.g. when that worker is out on a call) when additional cover is required. The EDT officer will contact a Senior Manager on call to request sessional work support.
  3.4.4 It will be the aim of the EDT to speak to the person making a referral as soon as possible. When this is not possible the Switchboard Operator will aim to ensure that the referrer is kept informed of the likely availability time of the EDT worker.

When it is decided that a worker will make a visit, they must inform the switchboard should be informed) of the place of the visit and a brief nature of the referral. (In line with Lone Worker Policies.) The switchboard operator must be advised:-

  • Where the visit is;
  • How long it is anticipated the visit will take;
  • On what number the officer may be contacted;
  • If the officer needs to be contacted during the visit/assessment.
  3.4.6 At the start and finish of a working shift each EDT social worker will act to ensure continuity and good communications. At the start of the shift the officer will communicate with the switchboard within a maximum of fifteen minutes of the commencement of the shift. They will also communicate with any colleague already on duty to ensure that they are aware of any referrals or information received. At the completion of a shift each EDT worker will ensure that reports on all referrals received are completed and forwarded as appropriate.
  3.4.7 When one EDT shift is followed directly by another, the social worker should contact each other as appropriate to hand over any work, which needs completion, and to advise of any referrals, which may occur or recur.


Management Cover

  3.5.1 A rota of senior officers ensures that advice and assistance is available to EDT officers at all times.


Supervision, Appraisals, Performance Management and Training

  3.6.1 The EDT Service Manager will be responsible for the individual supervision, appraisals and performance management of EDT officers in line with Salford Council's standard procedures, requirements and expectations. Training and development plans for each officer will be agreed through these processes, always ensuring as a priority that staff are adequately equipped, qualified and supported to carry out emergency duties across all service user groups
  3.6.2 The EDT Service manager would monitor/review quality of referrals and regularly meet with day team managers to provide feed back and share necessary information.


Team Meetings

  3.7.1 The EDT Service Manager will be responsible for ensuring that Team Meetings are arranged at least every 6 weeks, during normal office hours. EDT officers are required to attend all Team Meetings.


Quality Assurance

  3.8.1 The EDT Service Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a range of measures which ensure that the quality of the service provided by the EDT is of a high standard, and is routinely monitored. These measures will include the routine collection and analysis of agreed management information, regular audits of individual cases, and questionnaires for day staff and partner agencies about their satisfaction with the EDT service.

4. EDT Service Procedures

Caption: table containing section 4, EDT Service Procedures


Use of EDT Service Procedures

  4.1.1 The EDT will be responsible for all referrals made to Children & Adults Services outside of office hours. EDT staff will follow standard departmental procedures and guidance in determining their response to those referrals.