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Emergency Duty Service (EDS)

The Emergency Duty Service (EDS) can only deal with referrals which occur out of office hours and are genuine emergencies. Referrals made during the day to local social services and housing departments should be resolved by the respective office.

EDS provides support for safeguarding emergencies and crisis issues which occur outside of normal working hours and cannot wait until the next working day.

EDS is run on behalf of the six Berkshire unitary authorities. The service:

  • responds to emergencies where immediate social care intervention is required to safeguard a vulnerable adult or child
  • provides crisis intervention where there are significant welfare concerns that cannot wait until the next working day
  • responds to all statutory emergency referrals to the unitary authorities
  • offers single point of access
  • undertakes initial screening for those individuals who find themselves in need of emergency accommodation

Hours of operation

EDS is open to the general public for out of hours emergencies only from 5pm to 9am, Monday to Friday and 5pm Friday to 9am Monday. This includes bank holidays.

Roles and responsibilities

EDS is staffed by skilled screening officers, senior approved mental health professionals  and senior childcare social workers and adult safeguarding/hospital discharge officers.

Your call will be answered by a screening officer who, together with the duty manager, will assess your situation. Please be aware that child and vulnerable adult safeguarding, and Mental Health Act assessments will be given the highest priority.

A record of all referrals to the Emergency Duty Service will be made and referred onto the relevant local office.

At busy times your call may be held in a queue. All calls are recorded for quality assurance purposes.