Protecting lone workers at our latest NHS Framework healthcare client: EPUT case study part 1

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has deployed Safe Hub to protect lone workers

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). Over two blogs, we’re going to illustrate how we addressed the challenge of protecting frontline workers in a large NHS trust.

A lone worker safety system for healthcare workers out 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 to 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.

EPUT has introduced devices for shared use by inpatient teams. There are fixed-panel alert systems in the wards, which generate an alarm within the facility – but are not linked to an alert response centre service. Staff are required to supervise patients on escorted Section 17 leave from the wards. (Section 17 leave is temporary, and applies to patients detained under various sections of the Mental Health Act. It’s generally part of an inpatient’s treatment and rehabilitation programme). Using an SOS Fob Device provides them with a means of summoning help if the patient attempts to abscond or any other incident takes place whilst staff member and patient are outside of the ward environment.

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.

In our next blog, we’ll look at how we trained EPUT staff to use Safe Hub on SOS Fobs and the Safe Hub App. And we’ll focus on some of the ways we were able to customise the system to make it most useful for frontline healthcare workers.

To find out more about how healthcare providers can procure our lone worker safety system through the NHS Supplier Chain Framework, contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today.

Post by Rob Gilbert

Rob is Chief Sales Officer at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He is responsible for introducing new clients to the benefits of Safe Hub, and ensuring their experience is straightforward, simple and truly effective. His consultative, customer-focused approach means our clients have full access to every possible resource to achieve lasting, best-of-breed solutions and service excellence.

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