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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: customer becomes unconscious or unresponsive

On the phone

If, whist on the phone to a customer, it is obvious that the customer becomes unresponsive or unconscious, for example they are having a fit or have collapsed, it is important that you act quickly by informing your manager. Your manager will then assess the situation and take the necessary steps, which may include calling an ambulance.

Occasionally you will receive a call from a customer who is epileptic and they may warn you that they are likely to have a fit whilst talking to you. You should ask them what action they would like you to take if that does occur (do they want you to contact someone for example) and how long the fit will usually last for. If the customer does have a fit and it lasts longer than they have suggested you should inform your manager quickly who will decide the appropriate action.

These scenarios are rare but when dealing with an unresponsive customer on the phone it’s important that you advice your manager quickly so the correct action can be taken.

Face to face

If a customer collapses when you are with them out on call face to face and there is no other family or friends with them at the time you should

  • call an ambulance
  • wait with the customer until the ambulance arrives
  • contact your manager and advice them on the situation.

Do not try and move the customer unless they are in immediate danger.