For public sector bodies, working in partnership with private sector service providers is part and parcel of everyday life. As a result, it’s a huge benefit to make the procurement process as simple as possible. That’s where the G-Cloud procurement framework comes into its own. Applications for the new G-Cloud 12 framework closed last week. Results of the application process will be announced at the beginning of September. We thought we’d take the opportunity to review the work that we’re already doing to protect public-sector lone workers.
G-Cloud public sector procurement framework
The G-Cloud 11 Framework instituted in June 2019 was the latest iteration of the G-Cloud framework process. These frameworks are normally updated every year, to help public-sector bodies choose and buy cloud computing services. Under the G-Cloud 11 Framework, public-sector bodies can more easily choose suppliers using standardised call-off contracts with a duration of up to 2 years. As a result of being a preferred supplier, we’ve deployed our lone worker safety solutions in a number of public sector organisations. (Of course, there are numerous public-sector providers in the health and care sector, although our relationship with them is usually through a separate procurement agreement, the NHS Supply Chain Framework).
Public sector workers in the UK cover a wide range of roles
The common perception of working in the public sector outside a health or care setting would probably be civil servants based in an office. They don’t necessarily deal directly with members of the public, and many of them would rarely work alone. But of course, the public sector is much more diverse than that; indeed, the public sector beyond the NHS employed 11.2% of the UK workforce in March 2019. The total number of jobs in central government at that point was 3.2 million, against 2.03 million in local government (of which 1.5 million worked in local-authority supported schools). Employees working directly for local councils alone amounted to around half a million– and many of those were in lone-working roles.
Across these workers, the diversity of lone working roles and job functions is striking. Roles with a particularly high-risk profile include those where staff work directly with residents and businesses. These include trading standards officers, social workers, park wardens and even librarians in smaller facilities. Elected officials and their staff are often potentially working out of sight or hearing of colleagues. Many are often in isolated locations or face aggressive and violent behaviour from the public. Meanwhile, lone workers at waste and recycling centres face another set of challenges. Potentially operating heavy equipment, they will more likely face more acute risks around slips, trips and falls.
Safe Hub at work in local councils around the country
Safe Hub is ideally suited to providing a comprehensive solution for public-sector organisations. The broad range of safety features on our devices and apps can protect workers in all the scenarios outlined above and more. It might be an SOS Fob which a customer-facing lone worker can access discreetly to trigger a Red Alert in an emergency. Or it may be a Safe Hub app providing a proactive welfare check via Safe Check for a lone worker who has a series of appointments throughout the working day. As we can manage multiple devices through a single online management portal, senior managers can easily monitor the health and safety of their lone workers wherever they’re working.
Some examples of our deployment at local councils include Essex County Council, Lancashire County Council, Newcastle City Council, West Lothian Council and Adur & Worthing Councils. Within government and beyond local councils, we also protect staff working for MPs in the Houses of Parliament. And elsewhere in the public sector, we provide a lone worker safety system for Scottish Social Security.
Adapting our mobilisation process in the most adverse circumstances
We even mobilised a complex lone worker safety system for over 2,500 lone workers at Fife Council during the coronavirus pandemic. The scope of the requirement included SOS Fob and the Safe Hub App with integration to third-party systems (Oracle and Total Mobile) to maximise safeguarding and efficiency. We provided all end-user training online, to ensure that all covered lone workers used Safe Hub in their everyday safety practice. As is our standard procedure, we followed up this training with a call to each user to ensure that they were familiar with their devices and our service. After all, we’ve all got enough uncertainty in our lives – so it’s important that public sector lone workers can trust that they will get help when they need it.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today to find out more about how we have helped public sector lone workers within the G-Cloud procurement framework.
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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