UK Epilepsy Helpline: 01494 601 400
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am - 4pm,
Wednesday: 9am - 8pm
About the epilepsy helpline
Epilepsy Society's specialist helpline is here to help anyone affected by epilepsy. Calls are welcomed from people with epilepsy, their families and friends, as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, care workers, teachers and employers.
At the moment, we are able to answer about 94 per cent of calls to the helpline. However, sometimes when you call us the line will be busy. This is because we give each caller time to talk about matters that are important to them, so we do not limit the length of calls.
If you are unable to get through please keep trying: often the line is less busy in the afternoon.
All calls to the helpline are confidential. If we hear from callers that there are particular problems that affect a number of people with epilepsy (such as problems with supplies of medication or about benefits), we will research these issues and ensure that this information is available on our website. We also feed this information into information resources, current campaigns or news articles. At all times, your identity will remain confidential: we do not pass on any details about you, only about general issues that might be raised in calls. No information from the helpline has any recognisable information about individual callers.
What the epilepsy helpline offers
- we offer up-to-date information
- we offer an opportunity to speak to trained and experienced staff
- we offer emotional support
- we offer written resources as available and appropriate
- we offer referrals to other agencies/bodies
- we offer a caller-led service
- we offer respectful listening
- we offer a call-back service to anybody who has financial difficulties and who cannot afford the call.
What the epilepsy helpline does not offer
Helpline continuous evaluation started January 2013
Our helpline is one of our most important support services, allowing people to talk through any concerns and issues that they have and for as long as possible. We are continuing to collect feedback through our evaluation. When we have enough replies we will compile a report let you know the outcomes. Please complete this evaluation form (pdf) to give us comments on a call that you have had with us. Alternatively you can phone the helpline to request a form to be sent to you in the post.
We have already had some very positive feedback on the service, including comments like:
‘I felt I could have talked about any concern with my epilepsy’.
‘Whenever I have rung my call has been handled in a kind and helpful way. It is good to know that you are there and only a phone call away’.
Thanks to funding from the James Lewis Foundation we have been able to extend the opening hours on the helpline, which has made the helpline more accessible and convenient to callers. The funding has also enabled us to have more staff to cover busier periods, helping to decrease our missed call rate.
Over the year we have taken a total of 5,343 calls, an 8.6% increase on the previous year
- Between the extended hours of 9am and 10am we took 598 calls (April 2012 – March 2013)
- Between the extended hours of 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday evenings we have taken 140 calls (October 2012 – March 2013)
- Our missed call rate has reduced significantly from 17% to 6%. (We will continue to monitor this closely)
We have had feedback from callers to say how much they appreciate the helpline service being available on a Wednesday evening, as without these extended opening hours they wouldn’t have been able to make contact.
You can now speak to our Epilepsy helpline, through an interpreter, in over 150 different languages with Language Line Services (opens in a new window).
- You will need to call our helpline number and speak to a Helpline worker who will ask which language you need. If you do not have enough English to do this, you could ask someone else to make the call on your behalf.
- The helpline worker will then take your telephone number and ask for your first name. They will ask you to put down the receiver.
- The Language Line operator will contact you within a few minutes and introduce the helpline worker.
- You will be able to talk to the helpline worker, through the interpreter.
- All language line interpreters have signed confidentiality agreements.
As we are a UK based charity we are only able to offer this service to callers living in the UK.
For information in other languages, please view our Language Line poster.
All our helpline workers are trained in taking Type Talk calls.
Telephone Helplines Association Quality Standards Mark
The Helpline has been awarded the Quality Standard mark from the Telephone Helplines Association.
Please view our Helpline policies