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1.3.2 Interface Protocol Between Day Services and the Emergency Duty Team (EDT)


In December 2016, a draft appendix was added to this chapter. See Appendix 1: Giving Permission for Urgent Medical Treatment of Looked After Children Out of Hours.


  1. The Role of the Emergency Duty Team
  2. Communicating with the EDT
  3. Exceptional Circumstances

    Appendix 1: Giving Permission for Urgent Medical Treatment of Looked After Children Out of Hours

1. The Role of the Emergency Duty Team

1.1 The EDT provides a service at all times outside office hours. The service runs from 17:00 on weekdays until 09:00 the following day. At weekends and Bank Holidays cover is for 24 hours a day.
1.2 The EDT service is provided by one social worker, working alone. Cover is provided for all social work / social care emergencies in the Borough arising out of hours involving children and their families, Adults at Risk and people with mental health problems.
1.3 Because of the team's limited resources, the EDT must restrict its response only to those in the highest need. Referrals will be accepted by the EDT during its hours of operation when the matter is serious, usually involving one of the Council’s statutory responsibilities, and so urgent that it cannot wait until the next working day.
1.4 The EDT cannot take on work which has been referred during office hours. Calls which have come in before 17:00 must be completed by the day team, other than in the very exceptional circumstances covered below.
1.5 The EDT cannot undertake planned work and requests should not be made for evening / weekend visits to be carried out.
1.6 All work carried out by the EDT will be recorded and communicated to colleagues in the day service by 09:00 on the next working day. On very rare occasions the EDT SW may be so occupied with duty work that this is not possible, but the most urgent matters will be prioritised and passed over as soon as practicable. Where possible the EDT SW will use ICS or IAS to record their contacts. Where the EDT does not have access to a data system, e.g. RIO, the work will be written up as an EDT or AMHP report and sent by secure email.

2. Communicating with the EDT

2.1 Most referrals to the EDT are made by telephone. Linkline, the Council’s community alarm service, manages calls on behalf of the EDT. The out of hours duty number is 020 7226 0992, and is operational only when the EDT service is functioning.

If a colleague in a day team anticipates that an emergency may arise with one of their cases they should alert the EDT by email ( giving an outline of the potential problem and an indication of the resolution they would wish for.

The fax number is 020 7527 5454. Information can be sent to Linkline at any time.
2.3 It is also possible to speak to the EDT about case information during the team’s hours of operation. Social workers call the main EDT phone number, (020 7226 0992) leave their contact details with Linkline and ask for a call back. The EDT SW will try to respond quickly, but at busy times there may sometimes be a delay.

3. Exceptional Circumstances

3.1 While maintaining the principle underlying this protocol that the EDT task is to cover only emergencies that arise outside office hours, there will be rare occasions when it will be necessary for a day social worker to ask the EDT SW to follow up a case. For example, where attempts to see a vulnerable child or adult have been tried unsuccessfully (such as early evening visits) and it is considered critical that the vulnerable person should be located and their circumstances assessed.
3.2 Where it is necessary to ask the EDT SW to take action, this request must be made in direct discussion between the day SW manager and the EDT SW on duty so that it is entirely clear what has been agreed, and where the responsibility for the task lies.
3.3 The ability of the EDT SW to accept the referral will depend on the nature of the intervention requested, and what other work is currently under way.
3.4 Any request for action by the EDT which is made by email, fax or other means than direct contact, will not be accepted and case responsibility will remain with the originating case manager.

Appendix 1: Giving Permission for Urgent Medical Treatment of Looked After Children Out of Hours

Click here to view Appendix 1: Giving Permission for Urgent Medical Treatment of Looked After Children Out of Hours