The number one referrals system
Under the Homelessness Reduction Act, specified public bodies will now have a duty to refer at risk households to a local authority housing team. This means a person’s housing situation must be considered whenever they come into contact with a wider public service, such as a hospital.
Alert is the number ONE referrals system – used by more agencies and local authorities than any other system available. With a comprehensive catalogue of referring bodies already online and growing by the day, your job becomes even easier when it comes to meeting your statutory obligations.
What is MRI Alert?
MRI Alert is a FREE online tool created to specifically meet your Duty to Refer requirement by securely facilitating referrals & notifications between local authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and their wider partner agencies.
The ONLY system there is that offers the FULL RANGE of referrals and notifications by type, from the s213b to the modern slavery referral. Send, receive, track, action and audit every type of referral from one central system – FOR FREE!
- s213b referrals in from public bodies
- Referrals in from wider partner agencies
- Referrals & notifications out:
- s208 notification for TA placement out of area
- s208 notification for end of duty PRS accommodation out of area
- s198a local connection referral at relief duty stage
- s198 local connection referral at main duty stage
- s213 discretionary local connection referral at main duty stage
- s190 referral to social care for ineligible or intentionally homeless households
- Referral under the government’s PREVENT counter-terrorism initiative
- Modern slavery referral via the Home Office’s National Referral Mechanism
- Safeguarding referral to adult care or children’s services
- Referral for assessment under the Children Act 1989
- Referral (effective practice) from housing to wider agencies
- Intra-authority referral (effective practice) prevention case with no local connection
Alert Plus and Alert Transfer
Alert Plus and Alert Transfer are two optional add-ons to take your referrals and notifications service to the next level, giving you much greater tailoring options and control over the whole process in order to meet your specific needs.
Unlock the flexibility to add more relevancy by adding questions and information requests, or make responses mandatory to give you more control. Work the way you want and maximise compliance assurance.
Create letter templates to suit your own needs with the ability to add notes on emails to give a fit that’s better aligned to your needs.
Reporting and insight on referrals by status, outcomes, agency and type, running totals and officer usage. All of this will give you improved control and communication between staff and agencies to keep everyone on track to meet their statutory requirements, whilst informing long term planning for all areas of your service delivery.
A secure data transfer and management service that allows you to extract and integrate your data into any other systems you are using internally. Designed and built using the latest industry best practice, data can securely and safely populate your other internal programs.
Alert key features
- Create, send and receive all types of referrals and notifications easily, both to other housing options teams and referring bodies around the country. All in one central place, giving a single, transparent and consistent view for everyone.
- MRI Alert is the no.1 service and platform used by more local authorities and referring agencies than any other system, with more coming on board each day. Alert means that you can meet your statutory obligations quickly and simply.
- Easy for anyone to install, learn and use. Partners can self-register with no help or implementation required, just a simple cloud log on. Self-help guides and videos are available if needed, meaning no administrative burden on you. Our documentation also sets out the program of work agencies will need to follow, giving you a consistent approach.
- A clear set of dashboards and tables notifications with intuitive design gives you the information you need quickly and easily, leaving you to get on with your job. Because it’s designed by practitioners and the team that created Allocations and Homelessness Reduction, you know you are getting something that will work for you.
- Alert’s intelligent design dynamically tailors its questions and workflow to the agency in question, no matter who they are. This ensures that they and you are solving the right problem and reducing the risk of errors, while simplifying the process and remaining compliant.
- Once raised, a notification and subsequent updates are seamlessly sent to all parties in the chain, with tracking and an always-on live status. There is also a set of template letters to provide consistent messaging. This gives a clear, transparent and evidenced trail of actions and timings, bringing with it improved outcomes and accountability around statutory obligations.
- The automatic status updates also serve to keep the referring agency informed without having to check-in with a local authority, providing assurance, transparency and time efficiencies.
- Alert meets and exceeds all the stringent MHCLG, GDPR and ISO27001 standards ensuring you’re safe, legal and compliant. The system is hosted on the cloud, meets the 14 security principles, is always on and requires no extensive IT involvement. You have further control over users and information – issuing, managing and revoking as appropriate, spotting duplicates and referrals and other time-wasting and potential complications that can arise.
Duty to refer. What is it?
Under section 213B of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018, specified public authorities are required to notify a housing authority of service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (i.e. it is likely they will become homeless within 56 days). Before making a referral, a public authority must:
- have consent to the referral from the individual;
- allow the individual to identify the housing authority in England which they would like the notification to be made to; and,
- have consent from the individual that their contact details can be supplied so the housing authority can contact them regarding the referral
Duty to refer. Who does it apply to?
The public authorities which are subject to the duty to refer are specified in The Homelessness (Review Procedure etc.) Regulations 2018. The public services included in the duty are as follows:
Prisons; youth offender institutions; secure training centres; secure colleges; youth offending teams; probation services (including community rehabilitation companies); Jobcentre Plus; social service authorities; emergency departments; urgent treatment centres; and hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care
Duty to refer. What do we need to do?
Although the s213b duty to refer does not apply until 1 October 2018, local authorities and partner agencies should work together at the earliest opportunity to agree how the duty to refer will be managed.
Preparations to implement the s213b duty should include:
- Establishing a single point of contact within the local authority
- Agreeing a procedure for managing referrals
- Ensuring all referral information is stored securely
- Linking referral information to case files for use in data returns
- Ensuring data can be included in an applicant’s assessment and/or personalised housing plan
- Communicating the process and point of contact to agencies
How does Alert work for referring agencies?
Agencies can make their referral in five easy steps:
- Visit the Alert referral portal here
- Enter details of their agency
- Provide details of the household being referred
- Complete a consent to share declaration
Once submitted, the referring agency will receive confirmation that the referral has been sent along with a unique referral code. Once a referral has been made, a user account is automatically created.