ACTION WHEN THERE IS NO ANSWER

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GUIDANCE IS ADVISORY ONLY. WHERE THERE IS REASON TO BE CONCERNED FOR A RESIDENT’S SAFETY AND WELFARE, PLEASE CALL 101 IMMEDIATELY RATHER THAN WAIT 24 HOURS.

When we receive a request for support from residents, whether it is submitted directly or via third parties, such as Darlington Borough Council, we aim to ring the resident within 48 hours.

The purpose of the call is to confirm to the resident that we have received the request and that it will be dealt with. Also, the call is necessary to ask the resident for any additional information that might be needed to undertake the task.

However, sometimes the resident does not answer the phone. The below policy dictates the steps that we must follow in these circumstances to ensure that we look after the well-being of our residents.

If the resident doesn’t answer the phone when we ring them in the first instance, we will try to call them three more times over the next 24 hours and leave a voice message on each occasion. If we have their mobile number or email address, we will send them a message when they don't answer the first call and the second call.

The four attempts to ring them will include a call in the morning, another in the afternoon and one in the evening.

If we still can’t get hold of them, we will ask a volunteer to attend the address to check if the resident is OK.

If there is no answer, the volunteer should knock on any neighbour’s door, show their key volunteer letter to verify their credentials and ask if the neighbour has any information regarding the resident’s whereabouts. The volunteer shouldn’t share any personal information about the resident (including why the resident has requested support) while making this enquiry with the neighbour.

If at this point we are still unable to reach the resident or determine their whereabouts, the Ward Champion will immediately escalate the matter to the Police.

To escalate the matter to the Police, the Ward Champion needs to call 101 and request a welfare check for the resident.

When speaking with the Police to request a welfare check, the Ward Champion might need to provide some background details including the following:

  • Introducing themselves to explain that they are a Darlington Support's volunteer coordinator
  • Requesting a welfare check for the resident and providing the name, telephone number, address and any other additional information about the resident that the Police ask for
  • Detailing the attempts made to contact the resident

If after calling the Police, the resident contacts us, we need to inform the Police immediately by calling 101 and advising that the resident has made contact and no longer requires a welfare check.

For residents who have been referred by Darlington Borough Council, once the situation has been resolved an email should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to notify that a welfare check was undertaken and the outcome – if known – of the welfare check.

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