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3.1.15 Emergency Duty Service

The role of EDS is to respond to serious concerns about a child’s welfare or a significant incident concerning a looked after child that occurs outside office hours. EDS covers both Brighton and Hove and East Sussex councils and  are  only able to assist in emergencies out of hours that cannot wait until the next working day.  

In order to assist EDS, social workers should send ‘Might Happens’ to warn EDS of pending problems as well as informing them of the management position.  Social workers should also maintain up to date CareFirst records, to which EDS has access. ‘Might Happens’ are very useful in guiding EDS actions and in providing a quick summary with relevant phone numbers. This information should be emailed to:

E-mail address:

Social workers should include the following in a Might Happen:

  • Name, date of birth, address (state if home or placement) and legal status of child;
  • CareFirst ID;
  • Brief outline of possible problem that may arise;
  • Proposed course of action for EDS;
  • Relevant contact details;
  • Any other important information that could assist EDS.

EDS will record their involvement on CareFirst  and will also send the social worker an email  to alert them. If EDS receives an ‘Out of Office’ message and it is a serious CP issue then EDS will also e-mail a manager.

Out of hours telephone number: 01273 335905/06.