We appreciate that sometimes our customers may be vulnerable.
The list below shows the types of circumstances and characteristics which may suggest vulnerability, but these are not exhaustive, and the identification of vulnerable customers must be individual, responsive and aimed at making reasonable efforts to remove barriers to accessing our products and services.
- Financial Hardship
- Mental Health
- Language Barriers
- Low Income Levels
- Mental Capacity Limitations
- Addictions such as Gambling, Drink or Drugs
- Life Changing Events
- Medical / Health Conditions
- Victims of Financial Crime
Vulnerability may be permanent or temporary.
Westfield Health are committed to ensuring that all of our customers are treated fairly and that we meet all of their needs to the best of our ability.
This means that we may have to treat vulnerable customers according to their individual circumstances. In order to do so, we have trained our staff to enable them to identify the signs of vulnerability, and how to proceed with that customer.
We are committed to ensuring that our staff have the necessary training, knowledge, understanding and support in order for them to be able to identify the potential signs of a vulnerable customer in their dealings with them, and then tailor their approach accordingly.
Vulnerability is an extremely subjective area, however our staff are constantly on the lookout for potential signs, such as, a lack of understanding, communication issues and unusual or erratic behaviour.
If our staff believe that a customer could potentially be vulnerable then they will ask non-intrusive questions in order to understand the customer’s circumstances, allowing them to identify if the customer is in fact vulnerable and how our approach will need to be tailored for that customer. If we identify a customer who may be in need of specialist advice which we are unable to offer, we will refer them to an appropriate external organisation.
If we identify particular communication needs, we will record that information so that future contacts are handled appropriately with the appropriate permission. Any information gathered will be processed in line with Data Protection principles and any records that are held are deleted when the relationship no longer exists and in accordance with our Data Retention Policy.
We ask customers, if they believe they may fit the criteria for a vulnerable customer, to notify us immediately of their particular needs. We encourage customers to do this when they first make contact with us.