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Helpline awarded quality standard
Epilepsy Society’s helpline has been awarded a quality standard award by the Telephone Helpline Association for a second time. Only a handful of non profit helplines in the UK have achieved the quality standard mark more than once.
Around 5,000 people call Epilepsy Society’s helpline each year. It’s a caller led service, which means calls are not time limited and recognises the need for emotional support.
Epilepsy Society helpline manager Christine Brock said: “When people are diagnosed with epilepsy there is often a huge emotional adjustment to be made. Anxiety and not feeling in control are often central to a diagnosis of epilepsy. Talking to us can help. We know about epilepsy and we are listening. We take the confidentiality of our calls very seriously which gives our callers the space and anonymity to be able to express their thoughts and feelings. And we recognise the uniqueness of each caller.”
In making its award the Telephone Helpline Association commented on the induction process for Epilepsy Society helpline operators which it said “allowed for a thorough and robust development and verification of appropriate skills and knowledge.”
Commented Christine Brock: “It takes up to six months to train a helpline operator. A large part of the training is focused on understanding epilepsy so that we are able to meet the information needs of callers. Training is ongoing. Once our helpline operators are fully fledged they receive annual training to enhance and develop their skills.”
Since April, Epilepsy Society has been piloting extended helpline opening hours.
The helpline is now open from 9am-4pm Monday to Friday on 01494 601400.