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UK Foreign Office scraps "Locate" help when abroad

Source: Expatriate Healthcare - Wed 8th May 2013
UK Foreign Office scraps 'Locate' help when abroad

Britain's Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has made the decision to scrap its Locate system, designed to help expatriates if they are in a crisis abroad, because take-up has been low.

The database allowed expats to register and leave their details including next of kin information that could be used in an emergency.

Instead the FCO has pledged to spend more time and resources on using social media sites such as Twitter to engage with citizens overseas and aid them in this way, reports the Telegraph.

A spokesman for the FCO told the news provider: "The concept of registering with the FCO just in case of an emergency has not proven popular with the British public and does not provide an accurate picture of British nationals abroad."

Only 1% of Brits moving abroad were registering with the service, making it inefficient and an unnecessary complication in a crisis.

It will be turned off for good on May 14th, but the FCO will continue to offer other options for those in need of help.

The spokesman added: "The FCO is moving from a system where British nationals are encouraged to register when they travel in case there is a crisis, to one where we are using a number of channels to give them the latest information and advice on what they should do if they need our help."

A crisis hotline and emergency response teams are already run by the FCO, which is encouraging expats to sign up for travel advice via email.

These alerts are country specific and help those living abroad to monitor the situation where they are based and to deal with it accordingly.

Facebook accounts have been set up for around 125 of the FCO's posts abroad as well as approximately 100 Twitter users.

These make for effective ways to communicate with local expats, especially those in need of assistance.

Click here to read More News Stories by Expatriate Healthcare?

Comment on this Story

 
How do we register for overseas travel or which site do we use? Thank you for your time.
B Long - Mon, 18th Jan 2016
... Not just that, but what "Help" exactly did they ever actually provide that the EHIC Card, and Travel Insurance (Which they are continually banging on about) CAN'T offer ??.... In any case, a tenners says that they will reissue exactly the self-same service repackaged under another name, and at great cost, in another 6 Months time !
Mr Grumpy - Thu, 9th May 2013
The service may have been more successful, had it been publicised more. In fact, this is the first time, I am aware that such a service ever existed.!
David - Thu, 9th May 2013