Training lone workers in the NHS

In the latest blog of our series on the NHS, we look at training for lone workers and their managers. Due to the nature of their work, lone workers clearly need to receive training and instruction to deal with the increased risks they face. We’ve talked in previous blogs about the different NHS job roles which involve working alone, remotely, or out-of-sight of colleagues. Different lone working job functions involve different risks, sometimes necessitating emergency, proactive or reactive support.

Training to enable and empower

Beyond training, lone workers need enabling and empowering to take a greater degree of responsibility for their own safety and security. One key element of any organisation’s approach to empowering lone workers is technology, such as our proprietary Safe Hub platform. So it’s vital that training extends to the use of any lone worker safety devices with which may be issued.

Personal safety and conflict resolution: a training framework for the NHS

Under the conditions set out in the NHS standard contract, providers of NHS services must adhere to overarching security management standards. The NHS recognises training is an important control measure to meet such standards and mitigate risks associated with lone working. Training must take place within a legal and ethical framework, where the needs of the patient or service user balance against the safety of lone workers.

There are a number of categories of training which benefit lone workers in the NHS. Appropriate conflict resolution training helps in identifying, preventing, managing, and de-escalating potentially violent situations. For client-facing roles, staff may have to deliver unwelcome information and/or sensitive or bad news. Training needs to include how to dynamically assess risks so lone workers can respond to clinically related challenging behaviour. And of course more generally, it’s always helpful to provide cultural awareness, diversity and equality training.

Given the immediate risks that lone workers face, personal safety training should incorporate simple and practical measures to keep staff safe, such as first aid training. Under no circumstances must an employee put themselves at undue risk, so training on how to conduct a risk assessment is often a good starting point. And training on health and safety should therefore encompass employees’ responsibilities for their own safety.

Good training and an intuitive approach makes Safe Hub easy to use

One critical element in training is fostering an understanding of how and when to use allocated safety devices or modules. Historically, the lone worker industry has a poor track record of end-users exploiting technology when it is deployed. Often the problem has been attributable to end-users not becoming comfortable with the technology at the start of a deployment. At Lone Worker Solutions, we have developed a simple and effective rollout programme that addresses this problem head-on by putting end-users first.

For NHS agencies which choose our Safe Hub solution, we break through the fear barrier at the outset. We use dedicated training managers within our Account Management teams to assist clients in ensuring that all lone workers are fully trained. What’s more, we make sure that users are given sufficient time to become familiar with the devices before they are expected to use them day-to-day. Our training is easy to access at any time, easy to understand and available in multiple formats. As well as step-by-step guides for our various dedicated devices and apps, there are e-presentations and YouTube videos.

Line managers and senior management team: they need to know too

Our training also encompasses the line managers and senior management team responsible for lone workers. Safe Hub includes a dashboard feature for managers, which allows them to create a unique protocol for each individual lone worker. Training to use the platform is tailored to the devices, apps and features which are enabled in each organisation. Moreover, the dashboard ensures managers know the status of all workers using the platform. We offer training on how to generate individual and group reports which integrate seamlessly with compliance and safety audit requirements.

We can also talk managers through risk assessment and management processes. To begin with, a training needs analysis should focus on the type of training to be received, and who should be prioritised for training. Line managers must regularly review these training procedures. But further down the line, if a problem does arise, line managers and senior management teams must know how to deal with incidents reported to them. And investigation procedures must also be seamless, to ensure that lessons are learnt from any incidents.

With good training, and the technology to provide support when needed, the NHS can minimise and mitigate risks which its lone workers face every day. Lone Worker Solutions is proud to supply its Safe Hub technology to many NHS agencies, from hospital trusts to outsourced suppliers. If you’re an NHS supplier or agency and want to find out how we can help, contact our team today.

Lone Worker Solutions is passionate about protecting your team. Talk to us today to find out how we can help you meet your commitments to your lone and remote workers.

Post by George Stavrinidis.

Chief Executive Officer of Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). George believes passionately that everyone should be protected and supported at work. George supports LWS clients to make sure they enjoy the most effective relationship with the team and maximise the effectiveness of their deployment of Safe Hub.

About Lone Worker Solutions

At Lone Worker Solutions, our business is about protecting employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, instead we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.

About Safe Hub

Safe Hub is an award-winning BS8484 2016 Gold Certified package of emergency, proactive and reactive protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerry, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.

Post update

This post has been updated to reflect recent changes and improvements to the naming of Lone Worker Solutions' platform and the safety features that it provides. Prior to 2018, Safe Hub was called LoneWorker Manager, Safe Check was called Heartbeat, and Group Alert was called Broadcast Messaging. These updates reflect advancements in the platform and help to improve end-user comprehension.

#NHS #HealthSafetytraining