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 part of the NHS Supply Chain Framework. The Framework makes procurement a simple and efficient process for the NHS, private-sector healthcare providers, and the wider public sector.
NHS Supply Chain selected the SOS Fob device from Lone Worker Solutions within the personal safety alarms product category. 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 have access to the full range of our apps and devices within the Safe Hub system.
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: direct from the supplier, or non-direct through the Framework. To find out more, visit www.supplychain.nhs.uk
SOS Fob for NHS lone workers
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.
SOS Fob ID Badge
Arm & Belt Holster
SOS Fob wristband
Lone working in the NHS
Every day, there are tens of thousands of lone workers in the UK healthcare sector.
An estimated 100,000 nursing professionals work at least part of their day alone or out-of-sight of colleagues. More than 50,000 GPs see patients in consulting rooms, mostly without a colleague present. And midwives, physiotherapists, in-home care support and social workers are all often in lone working roles. Even security and reception staff can often be out of sight or earshot of colleagues.
Lone working places healthcare workers 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. Our discreet lone worker safety devices play a vital role in protecting these professionals while they do their job, from big NHS trusts through to small independent agencies.
Safe Hub for off-site workers
Healthcare lone workers include people who undertake shifts or work outside normal working hours, but also people who work alone from or within a central office.
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 healthcare lone workers in these situations is being able to summon emergency help with the utmost discretion.
When a challenging situation becomes a crisis, Safe Hub's emergency feature, Red Alert, comes into its own. All our dedicated safety devices feature a prominent emergency Red Alert button to put workers in direct, two-way audio contact with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Staff at the ARC will access the user's GPS location and their personal escalation protocols.
As Safe Hub has achieved BS8484:2016 Gold certification, we can bypass 999 call centres and send help 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 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 healthcare lone workers leave a recorded message with the ARC, including details about their location and any 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. Employers can provide appropriate conflict resolution training to helps identify, prevent, manage, and de-escalate potentially violent situations and clinically related challenging behaviour.
Our job is to provide complete training in the use of all our devices and features to ensure workers get the best possible protection. Safe Hub can be the first line of defence should conflicts get out of hand, or situations become unmanageable.
And by making Safe Hub part of everyday safety practice, we ensure healthcare employers get genuine value for investment.
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 Standard Contract 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.
Essex Partnership University
Our deployment at the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) was secured through the NHS Supply Chain Framework. Covering a range of lone workers, including mental health and community teams, we’ve supplied EPUT with the SOS Fob and Safe Hub App for smartphones to provide maximum coverage.
Locala Community Partnerships
Locala is a leading Community Interest Company and selected Safe Hub to support staff who work alone or out of contact with line managers. The group’s 1,300 staff provide community-based health services in health centres, GP surgeries, schools and service users’ own homes. Service users often have complex needs, are vulnerable, or are in challenging environments.