Care Alert Responder Volunteer

Welfare check pathway

When volunteers receive an incident alert they will need to respond immediately.

A personal care alarm will have been activated and support will be required in a variety of circumstances.

  • The person has fallen but not been able to speak to the alarm monitoring contact centre through their alarm unit (which contains a highly sensitive two-way speaker) because they are too far away for example in the garden or upstairs.
  • The person has accidentally activated their personal care alarm and then not heard the various attempts by the alarm monitoring contact centre to contact them (either through the alarm unit or on the home/mobile phone).

Carrying out the welfare check

Step 1: Carry out the welfare check

Attend, assess, call, complete

  1. When a volunteer arrives at the person’s address knock at the door or ring the bell.
  2. If the door is open or opened by the person, please do not enter the person’s address, even if invited to do so.
  3. Introduce yourself clearly using the following wording – “Hello, please don’t be alarmed. I am here because you have pressed your personal care alarm and the alarm monitoring contact centre has not been able to contact you. I have been asked to visit your property and report back to them that you’re safe. If you want to check with the alarm monitoring contact centre that what I’ve said is true then please ring them on 0330 678 1675 or press your emergency alarm again.” – remember that you are visiting unannounced, and your visit is unexpected.
  4. If the person is comfortable to continue a discussion with you then check the wellbeing of the person, ensuring that they are comfortable, free from injury and aware of their surroundings.
  5. If the person is distressed at your presence, then explain to them that you will leave them and if possible, encourage them to press the personal care alarm button. In any event, telephone the alarm monitoring contact centre on the number supplied and explain what has happened.
  6. If the person needs emergency care, unconscious or needs/asks for further assistance, please contact the alarm monitoring contact centre.
  7. If the person is well, ask them to press the personal alarm button to update the alarm monitoring contact centre (or the volunteer can call if easier).
  8. If there is no answer, please check for any access to the lower floor windows through the garden. Please check for any animals in the garden first and DO NOT enter if there are any animals loose in the back garden. See if you can locate the person by checking the windows. If you are able to see them, ring the alarm monitoring contact centre and report on their circumstances.
  9. If there is no answer to the doorbell and you are not able to see the person through their windows, phone the alarm monitoring contact centre.
  10. If the person is unresponsive, or in need of urgent medical attention please call 999 and then call the alarm monitoring contact centre.
  11. Throughout this process never put yourself into an environment where you feel there is a risk to you or others.

Please call the alarm monitoring contact centre as soon as possible after arriving at the persons address and assessing the situation.

Alarm monitoring centre contact number: 0330 678 1675

Step 2 – Complete the request

  1. Once you have attended the persons address, assessed the situation, and called the alarm monitoring contact centre, you are required to leave.
  2. Record the outcome on GoodSAM once you have left.
  3. Should you need support after a challenging welfare check please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382.

How do you record the outcome on GoodSAM?

You will need to complete the task on the GoodSAM App when you have completed your check which can be found in the Actions tab on the app. Please ensure you select the correct option so the referrer can see what the outcome of the task is.

Select 1 of the following options -

Client did not answer if there was no response at the door, you couldn’t see the person and Taking Care have been informed.

Contacted - no help needed if you spoke to the person at their home, they are ok and Taking Care have been informed.

Contacted - provided help if you found the person at their home, they had fallen or unwell and alerted Taking Care.

GoodSAM app screen grab

The flow chart below will outline the response required in a variety of circumstances:

Assessment Process diagram

Things that will help

  • Introduce yourself and use the person’s name when addressing them. Tell them that you are there to help them. Remember they may not know that they have pressed for help.
  • Always show your GoodSAM ID on the app and explain that you are an NHS and Care Volunteer Responder.
  • Be patient with the person. Understand that they may feel frustrated, anxious, or sad at the situation.
  • Slow down and ask short questions, this can sometimes make it easier for them to remember what is required to be able to pass over the information.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself, don’t assume that everything you have agreed has been understood.

Do's and Don'ts

Do

  • Stay with the person only as long as it is convenient for you to do so. If the person is waiting for the emergency services to attend, please call the alarm monitoring centre to allow us to follow our deterioration procedure to continue monitoring the person’s welfare.
  • Contact the alarm monitoring centre if the person asks for the emergency services.
  • Tell the person to use the personal care alarm or alarm unit to contact the monitoring centre so they can provide them with an update.
  • Beware of hazards i.e. Dogs, Fire etc.
  • Report to the alarm monitoring contact centre if you see anything that indicates abuse, neglect or the environment poses a risk to the individual for example, their home may be infested by rats or very unclean; or there may be a fire risk due to their obsessive hoarding.
  • Make sure the person is safe and well and report to the alarm monitoring centre.
  • Report to the alarm monitoring contact centre if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
  • Make sure that you complete the task on the GoodSAM app. If you don’t provide an update to the alarm monitoring company they will remind you via GoodSAM to call in.

Don't

  • Please don’t enter the person’s property.
  • IMPORTANT Do not call the emergency services yourself (unless there is a rapid deterioration in the person’s health) please contact the alarm monitoring centre first.
  • In no circumstances should you agree to follow up visits to the person.
  • In no circumstances should you stay at the property after you have completed the welfare check.
  • Provide any assistance outside of this guidance.

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Page last reviewed: 20 December 2023