Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
Protecting NHS lone workers across Essex with our latest NHS Framework client
Lone Worker Solutions is proud of its work protecting lone workers in the healthcare sector. We feel particularly privileged to work in partnership with the NHS Supply Chain Framework. This simplifies the procurement process for our full range of Safe Hub apps and devices. We wanted to share one of our recent deployments in the sector, which was secured through the Framework. Step forward, our latest NHS client: Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).
A lone worker safety system in the community
EPUT provides health and social care services for 1.3 million people in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, and Luton. EPUT delivers community health, mental health and learning disability services and employs over 5,000 people across more than 200 sites, of which some 1,500 staff members are lone workers working in the community.
The two trusts which merged to form EPUT in 2017 had previously used two separate lone worker device providers. EPUT now deploys around 1,000 of our SOS Fob devices. Some of these are shared, while some are distributed to staff who more often work in remote locations visiting service users in the community. Currently, Safe Hub on SOS Fobs offers an ideal solution, as it’s an intuitive device that can easily trigger Red Alert or Yellow Alert.
EPUT also has access to the Safe Hub App, but decided to focus initially on making SOS Fob part of lone workers’ everyday safety practice. In the future, the trust will look at phasing in use of the Safe Hub app for workers who want to use additional safety features such as Safe Check.
Lone working scenarios at EPUT
The majority of staff using the devices are supporting patients in their own homes for their physical, or mental health care but devices are also used by staff working on a 1-1 basis with patients in clinical settings that may be isolated or with particularly high-risk patient groups.
As part of the most recent implementation project, devices have also been issued to estates staff and corporate staff who may find that they are working outside of traditional office hours in empty buildings. Devices are also offered to staff who may have received threats from disgruntled patients as part of staff well-being and support packages
Customising Safe Hub to work best for users
One issue which we addressed shortly after deployment was for workers wearing SOS Fobs on lanyards. As the mental health teams at EPUT have to be aware of a ligature risk, their lanyards are longer than standard to incorporate breakpoints. This meant that dangling devices had a tendency to trigger frequent false alerts, for instance, if they touched a desk. We quickly responded by customising the sensitivity on all devices. Additionally, we supplied belt-clips for those individuals whose clothing allows them to wear the SOS Fob at their waist.
Genuine alerts dealt with quickly and calmly
To date, there have been two genuine alerts where lone workers faced challenging behaviour from service users. Although the threats in each case passed and there was no emergency services callout, the devices worked perfectly and recorded the incidents accurately. Most importantly, the escalation protocols worked smoothly and the risk management specialist was notified promptly of the alerts. In both cases, she was able to offer further support to the lone workers quickly, following incidents taking place.
Positive feedback from users shows lone worker safety at its best
Having used other devices previously, lone workers at EPUT are reporting that the SOS Fob is a much easier device to use, with intuitive buttons and LED light design. Feedback has been entirely positive, for instance about the speed with which alert calls are answered. Users also report being comfortable about cancelling false alarms if they’re triggered.
Debby Stevens, Local Security Management Specialist at EPUT, said “The team at Lone Worker Solutions have gone out of their way to accommodate our needs in a timely and efficient manner. The roll-out process was really smooth, thanks to the fact that we’ve been able to work together closely on a multi-faceted training programme. I have only positive things to say about Lone Worker Solutions and its safety devices.”