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Helpline and local advisers

Our helpline and local advisers can support anyone with Parkinson's, their family or friends. Call 0808 800 0303 to get in touch.

How our helpline can support you

Our helpline is a free confidential service providing support to anyone affected by Parkinson's.

Our trained advisers, including specialist Parkinson's nurses, can provide information and advice about all aspects of living with Parkinson's, such as:

Our peer support service can also put you in touch with a trained volunteer who has a personal experience of Parkinson's that's similar to yours. You can arrange to have up to 6 sessions with your volunteer.

How do I contact the helpline?

The helpline can get very busy. We answer as many calls as possible, but if you can't get through, please leave a message with your name and phone number.

Unfortunately, we can't return calls to numbers that bar withheld or anonymous numbers.

If you contact us by email or online, we'll come back to you within 5 working days. If you'd like a speedier response, it may be quicker to phone us.

If your email is complex - for example about medical issues or benefits entitlement - we'll do our best to answer it fully. However, it's sometimes easier to speak to you on the phone to make sure we have all the details we need to help you.

How Parkinson's local advisers can support you

Our UK-wide network of friendly Parkinson's local advisers is here for you – whether you have the condition or you're a carer, friend or family member of someone with Parkinson's.

Parkinson's local advisers can help if you:

Your Parkinson's local adviser will have a wide range of knowledge and expertise about Parkinson's, and know about services available in your area.

Parkinson's local advisers are there to turn to, so no-one has to face Parkinson's alone.

How do I contact my local adviser?

Search for your nearest Parkinson's local adviser in the postcode search below.

Or contact our helpline 0808 800 0303 to be put in touch with someone near you.

Our local advisers and helpline work together. Our local advisers are often out meeting people with Parkinson's, so if your local adviser is not around when you call, please get in touch with our helpline on 0808 800 0303.

Interpreting service for non-English speakers

We offer advice to people in the UK whose first language is not English, using a telephone interpreting service covering over 170 languages.

You can call the helpline directly on 0808 800 0303 and request an interpreter.

Healthcare professionals can also contact us, with their client's consent, and arrange for a helpline adviser and interpreter to call the client.

Tell us what you think about our helpline and local advisers

We regularly review the service we offer and strive to improve it wherever we can. An essential part of this review involves seeking the opinions of people who use the helpline.

You can get involved in different ways, such as commenting on one of our policies, completing a survey or attending a service-user focus group meeting.

If you're interested and can spare some time, please email [email protected]. We'll keep your details on record and contact you soon. Your input is invaluable.

Give us your feedback on the helpline

If you would rather just send us any comments or suggestions, please contact Tim Moore, our telephone services programme manager:

Our helpline complaints policy below tells you what you can do if you're not satisfied with the service received.

Give us your feedback on Parkinson's local advisers

If you would like to send us any comments or suggestions, please contact Joyce Borgs, our adviser service programme manager:

How our helpline is run

A quality helpline service

We are a member of the Helplines Partnership and our service has been accredited to the Quality Standard. This means we have demonstrated that we are committed to quality and offer a professional service.

Calls are free from UK landlines and mobile networks.

Disclaimer

The helpline is able to offer information and support. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or as a substitute for legal advice.

If you have, or suspect you may have, a health problem you should consult your doctor or specialist nurse.

Call recording and monitoring

Helpline calls may be subject to monitoring by managers within the Telephone Services team and on occasion calls will be recorded.

We do this periodically to train staff, motivate the team to adopt the highest standards of customer care, and to monitor and evaluate the service.

All calls will remain confidential, and recordings are only listened to by the helpline team. On days when calls are subject to recording, a message will be played before your call is answered to make you aware of this.

If you'd rather not have your call recorded, it may be best to call back another time. Our call recording policy is available on request.

Helpline confidentiality policy

We take caller confidentiality very seriously and aim to create a trusting relationship between helpline users and staff.

Callers' personal details are not shared with 3rd parties unless consent has been given, and only on a 'need to know' basis.

Exceptions to this are detailed below and are made only where there is a potential risk to the caller or others and/or where required by law.

Objectives of the confidentiality policy

  • To protect callers' personal information
  • To provide a service where callers feel able to speak openly about their concerns, knowing that the information is kept private
  • To ensure the protection of callers, staff and the general public
  • To ensure that the helpline adheres to the Data Protection Act
  • To ensure that helpline staff understand and adhere to the policy

The confidentiality policy in practice

  1. Caller information is recorded only for the purpose of returning calls or sending out requested literature. This information is kept on a secure electronic database. Any handwritten information is stored in locked drawers.
  2. Callers to the helpline are free to speak to staff anonymously or using a pseudonym if they wish.
  3. Our telephone system does not reveal the caller's telephone number. Likewise, the helpline telephone number is withheld when helpline staff return calls. Please note that if an individual has chosen to bar anonymous or withheld numbers then we will not be able to return calls.
  4. We do not pass on caller details unless this has been agreed with the caller. Where calls relate to other areas of the charity, we will pass on contact details. Voicemail messages or emails for specific members of staff or departments will be forwarded to the relevant person. Clear consent is not sought in these cases but is automatically presumed due to the nature of the enquiry.
  5. Email correspondence is kept securely and electronically and will be forwarded only where necessary. For example, a fundraising query will be forwarded to the Fundraising team.
  6. Statistical information relating to calls is collected for managerial and supervisory purposes and may be shared widely. However, this data is collated anonymously.

Exceptions when confidentiality may be broken

  1. A caller is perceived as a serious and immediate risk to themselves by helpline staff. This may include being actively suicidal or self-harming.
  2. A caller is perceived as presenting a serious and immediate risk to others.
  3. A call that seems to indicate abuse to children or vulnerable adults.
  4. A call which indicates possible terrorist action.

A 'listening ear' service

We understand that living with Parkinson's can be challenging and highly distressing at times, and that there may be moments when some callers feel that ending their life is a viable option.

Helpline staff will never encourage an individual towards such action.

However, staff are trained to deal with this type of call and are available to talk through the difficult and sometimes complex feelings which may lead to these thoughts.

Responsibilities of the helpline staff

Helpline managers and supervisors will ensure that all staff are sufficiently trained to fully understand the scope of this policy and how to implement it in practice.

Responsibilities of helpline users

Callers take responsibility for the information they divulge.

Callers should ensure that they are happy with the content of this policy and raise any questions they may have with staff.

Helpline complaints policy

The Parkinson's UK helpline 0808 800 0303 aims to provide a high quality service to people with Parkinson's, their families and carers, and to professionals working with them.

It's important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively.

We recognise, however, that there are times when our services may not meet people's needs or expectations, and that occasionally things do go wrong.

When this happens it is important that we know about it so that we can deal with any problem quickly and effectively. It also helps us to continue to improve the quality of services that we offer.

If you have a complaint or would like to raise any issues informally, please contact us. All complaints are treated confidentially.

Informal complaints

As a first step, please contact the helpline on 0808 800 0303 or email [email protected] to see if the problem can be resolved.

All team members will do everything they can to put things right.

Formal complaints

If you are not happy with the response, do not feel comfortable approaching a member of staff directly, or you feel that the matter is a more serious issue, you may wish to make a formal complaint either by telephone or in writing.

Your complaint will be acknowledged in writing within 48 hours. Where possible, the investigation will be completed with 14 days.

If you are unhappy with the response you receive, you have the right to appeal. Details of how to do this will be included in the initial letter we send to you.

To make a complaint, or to get a copy of the full complaints procedure, please get in touch:

We also welcome all general feedback about the helpline whether comments or suggestions.