a full life for everyone affected by epilepsy

helpline 01494 601 400
switchboard 01494 601 300

epilepsy helpline

Our confidential helpline is for anyone in the UK affected by epilepsy.

Call: 01494 601 400 (national call rate)
Daytime: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am - 4pm
Extended hours: Wednesday: 9am - 8pm

About the epilepsy helpline

Purple telephone with the receiver off the hook Epilepsy Society's specialist helpline is here to help anyone affected by epilepsy. We welcome calls from people with epilepsy, their families and friends, as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, care workers, teachers and employers.

We give each caller as much time as they want to talk about matters that are important to them. We do not limit the length of calls. This means that sometimes our lines may be busy when you call. If you are unable to get through please keep trying. Tip: often the line is less busy in the afternoon.

All calls to the helpline are confidential. 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.

Sometimes particular issues may come to our attention because a number of callers have phoned with the same queries. Examples of this have included problems with supplies of medication or worries about benefits. In these cases we will research the issue and ensure that details are available on our website. We also feed this information into information resources, current campaigns or news articles.

What you can expect from the helpline

We are able to:

  • listen to you
  • give you information on other organisations if appropriate
  • give up to date information about epilepsy
  • offer you a call back service if you request it at the time of your call to us
  • offer a language line service and have been trained in text relay

We do not:

  • give advice
  • give any information about your call to anyone else
  • offer legal advice
  • send information to anyone else except the caller
  • give the opportunity to speak to medically trained staff

Your comments on the helpline

Our helpline is one of our most important support services used by 5,748 callers last year. We are currently collecting feedback to help ensure it meets the needs of people affected by epilepsy.

Please complete our helpline evaluation form (PDF 670KB) to give us comments on a call that you have had with us.  Alternatively, call the helpline to request a form to be sent to you in the post. We started sending out evaluation forms in January 2013, and so far have sent out over 1,000 forms to callers.  We will compile a report on the responses and share the outcomes soon.

Helpline 2013/14

During the financial year 2013/14 we have taken a total of 5,748 calls which is an increase of 7.6% on the number of calls taken last year.

  • Wednesday evening opening: We have taken 278 calls and will continue to offer our callers the opportunity to speak with us in the evening. We are here from 9am to 8pm on a Wednesday. We have taken 234 calls between the hours of 4pm and 7pm, and 44 calls between 7pm and 8pm. 
  • 9 - 10am opening: in April 2012 we extended the helpline opening hours by opening at 9am each day: one hour earlier than before.  During 2013/14, 638 callers have chosen to ring between 9 and 10am, with the call rate continuing to grow month on month.
  • Our average length of call remains around 17 minutes.

Language line

You can speak to our Epilepsy helpline, through an interpreter, in over 170 different languages with Language Line Services (opens new window).

You will need to call our helpline number (01494 601 400) 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 (PDF, 799KB).

Quality standard

The helpline is a member of Helpline Partnership (opens new window) which merged with Telephone Helpline Association.  The helpline was awarded the quality standard mark in May 2012.

Helpline staff are trained to work within our policy and procedures.

Monitoring

Some calls may be recorded and monitored for training purposes.  This is an important part of maintaining quality on the helpline.  All calls that are recorded are kept confidential and will remain in the helpline office and then destroyed.

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