Working in partnership with NHS Supply Chain to protect lone workers
Safe Hub is live on the NHS Supply Chain Framework
Lone Worker Solutions is delighted to announce our selection to the NHS Supply Chain Framework. NHS Supply Chain selected the SOS Fob device from Lone Worker Solutions within the personal safety alarms product category. This agreement follows the conclusion of a competitive tender process run by the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
The new Framework launched on 1st September 2018 and replaces previous Framework agreements. The 2-year programme has the option to extend for a further two years. It’s available to the NHS, private-sector healthcare providers, and the wider public sector. The intention is to make procurement of lone worker safety services a simple, quick and efficient process. Companies within the Framework must adhere to the high standards demanded by the NHS, for the benefit of all those under its care.
All Apps & Devices are available on the Framework
NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers will be able to access the full range of our apps and devices within the Safe Hub system. All our services are certified to BS8484:2016 standards and hold the coveted Secured by Design award. We commit to offering the lowest possible pricing for healthcare providers to access our services, whether they choose to lease or purchase our devices.
Healthcare providers can choose between two different methods of supply. Under the ‘Non-Direct’ route, NHS Supply Chain can purchase products from preferred suppliers. They then make them available to NHS Trusts, private healthcare providers, or government departments and agencies. In the ‘Direct’ method, organisations enter into a contract directly with the supplier through the Framework.
SOS Fob for NHS lone workers
Now available on the NHS Supply Chain Framework.
SOS Fob is a BS8484:2016 Gold Certified specialist lone working device ideally suited to lone workers in the NHS and healthcare sector. Discreet, durable, waterproof and lightweight, SOS Fob is designed to be convenient to wear or carry. It clips into an identification badge or a comfortable wristband. It can also be worn in an armband, belt holster, or lanyard. www.supplychain.nhs.uk to find out more
SOS Fob ID Badge
Arm & Belt Holster
SOS Fob wristband
Lone working in the NHS
Safe Hub protects lone workers in the health and social care sector, from big NHS trusts through to small independent agencies.
In the UK, an estimated 100,000 nursing professionals work alone or out-of-sight of colleagues every day. There are more than 50,000 GPs, all of whom see patients in consulting rooms and most without a colleague present. Midwives, physiotherapists, in-home care support, social workers; there’s a huge range of lone working roles. A district nurse may be visiting a client in their own home, while a security guard patrols a central city hospital. It may seem that workers based in clinics or hospitals are never alone. Yet nurses, doctors, and triage teams, as well as security and reception staff, can often be out of sight or earshot of colleagues. This can place them at an increased risk of accident, or aggressive behaviour from service users.
One key challenge is dealing with people who are upset or non-compliant. There were over 70,000 attacks on staff in the NHS in 2015-16, and lone workers disproportionately sustained injury in such attacks. Our discreet lone worker safety devices play a vital role in protecting these professionals while they do their job (Source HSE).
NHS risks and responsibilities
NHS Protect is the body which leads on work across the NHS to protect staff from crime. Their definition of lone working is: ‘any situation or location in which someone works without a colleague nearby; or when someone is working out of sight or earshot of another colleague.’ This includes people who undertake shifts or work outside normal working hours, but also people who work alone from or within a central office. A common category is for people who work in direct contact with the public, especially when they don’t have immediate access to standard emergency services.
As well as general health and safety legislation, under the NHS Standard Contract 2016-17, NHS organisations have to make proper provisions for security management. NHS organisations’ boards are responsible for ensuring that appropriate policies, systems, procedures and physical security measures are in place for the protection of lone workers.
Local Security Management Specialists (LSMSs) develop strategies locally, in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders. On a day-to-day basis, line managers have responsibility to ensure that all relevant lone working policies and procedures are implemented in their teams. Line managers are crucial in introducing control measures to mitigate or remove risks – such as integrating Safe Hub into staff routines.
Safe Hub for off-site workers
One of the highest risk categories is people who work in a patient’s or service user’s own home such as district nurses, midwives and health visitors. The priority for health workers is being able to summon emergency help with the utmost discretion.
All of our dedicated safety devices and apps are easily accessible and feature a prominent emergency button to trigger a Red Alert. With SOS Fob and ProtectMe, the devices connect users directly with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The Safe Hub app allows staff to use their own mobile device to access the ARC if they prefer. And wearable devices like SOS Button connect the worker to the ARC via their smartphone app. Staff at the ARC will access the user's GPS location and their personal escalation protocols, and can direct emergency services to the worker’s exact location in the fastest possible time.
Planning for safety
Before visiting a location, health workers must have up-to-date information of known risks. This may include such issues as whether there is an animal in the house, the individual’s behaviour (for instance, if there is drug or alcohol use), and the physical environment. Yellow Alert lets health workers leave a recorded message with the ARC, including details about their location and any particular concerns. This information will be accessed in the event of a Red Alert being triggered and can save valuable time should a problem occur.
Many NHS and healthcare organisations have already deployed Safe Hub.
One particular area of concern in the health and care sector is the potential for patients, service users and those around them to be using alcohol or drugs. Clearly this can increase the possibility of belligerence and non-compliance from patients themselves, as well as their carers or relatives.
When the situation becomes a crisis Safe Hub's emergency feature, Red Alert, comes into its own. Red Alert puts the care worker in direct, two-way audio contact with the ARC. And, because Safe Hub has achieved BS8484:2016 Gold certification, we can bypass 999 call centres and send help in the fastest possible time.
It is vital to train lone workers about their health and safety. Appropriate conflict resolution training helps in identifying, preventing, managing, and de-escalating potentially violent situations. Training needs to include how to dynamically assess risks so lone workers can respond to clinically related challenging behaviour.
We provide complete training in the use of all our devices and features to ensure workers get the best possible protection and then employers get genuine value for investment. Safe Hub can be the first line of defence should conflicts get out of hand, or situations become unmanageable.
There are useful resources for lone workers in the health and care sector. As well as general advice from the Health and Safety Executive, it’s worth referring to the NHS’s Standards for Providers to understand the importance of health and safety in the sector.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has produced comprehensive guidance providing resources and tools to assist nursing staff who work alone.
Unison has also produced a useful guide to lone working for safety representatives in the sector.
“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.”
Debby Stevens, Local Security Management Specialist, EPUT
Case Study: Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
Protecting NHS lone workers across Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, and Luton
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).
The team at Lone Worker Solutions have demonstrated their partnership credentials by being flexible and helping us to reach the right decision regarding features and devices. This has given us the peace of mind that Safe Hub will support our staff in the real-world situations they may face”
Locala Community Partnerships.
Locala Community Partnerships
Supporting healthcare staff working in the community
Leading Community Interest Company, Locala, has selected Safe Hub from Lone Worker Solutions to support staff who work alone or out of direct contact with line managers. The group’s 1,300 staff provide community-based health services across Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford.
Locala’s healthcare provision includes a wide range of services; from Health Visiting to Speech and Language Therapy, Substance Misuse Teams to Sexual Health; Community Nursing and Podiatry. These services are delivered at health centres, GP surgeries, schools, in the community and service-users’ own homes by Locala staff. Staff members often work directly with service-users who have complex needs, can be vulnerable or are in challenging environments.