Many divisions within Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust depend on the devices and monitoring provided by the Reliance Protect service to safeguard their lone workers.
Among these are drivers in the logistics team who transport vital clinical supplies across the county. Prompted by a chance event, the team introduced additional measures to enhance the value of the Reliance Protect service to staff – with dramatic results.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is a major provider of mental health, intellectual disability and community healthcare services including prison health and high security hospital care. The Trust’s 8,800 staff carry out a wide range of roles to provide integrated and coordinated care and support to about 190,000 people that use the services every year.
As part of the Trust, Trent & Derwent Logistics provides a specialist transport service for patient-related and health service cargos, such as pathology specimens, pharmacy items – including controlled drugs, vaccines and medical gases – medical records, post, and radioactive materials.
Given the sensitive nature of these goods, the drivers could be vulnerable to abuse, theft or a threatening situation in the course of duty. Since 2014, all drivers had been equipped with Reliance Protect GPS enabled Identicom devices with man-down alert capabilities. In 2016 a man-down alert was accidentally activated and although the event was rapidly resolved, it created an opportunity for the NHS Trust to review device procedures and explore what lessons could be learned.
Increase safety and security for lone drivers
Revisit device usage procedures
Accurately track device usage
Ensure compliance with HSE regulations
Advanced user-friendly technology to give field-based lone workers access to immediate support in vulnerable situations.
Additional steps built into driver procedures and changes embedded into everyday routines.
Detailed reporting to monitor use, provide audit trails and ensure best practice.
Guaranteed SLAs, KPIs and reporting in line with the Reliance Protect NHS framework agreement and statutory standards.
As part of the NHS Trust’s lone worker risk assessment procedures, all of its drivers need the ability to summon emergency assistance throughout the working day. The Trent & Derwent Logistics team was satisfied that Reliance Protect provided a comprehensive service to do this. Uniquely styled as an identity badge with red and amber alert capabilities, the push of a discreet button activates an audio call to the dedicated 24/7 Reliance Monitoring Centre.
Above and beyond this, the NHS Trust wanted to maximise the benefits from the solution by focussing on the use of the amber alert pre-record function so that drivers could report regular status updates. From arrival at work and throughout the day drivers would pre-record amber alert messages to confirm arrival and departure from every location until logging a final pre-recording when signing off for the day. This gave a clear audit trail of all movements. By contrast, if the red alert or mandown feature was activated, an expert responder would automatically listen in to assess and record unfolding events, take appropriate action and, if necessary, escalate the call to the emergency services. The new procedures were designed to cover all eventualities and, to encourage drivers to adopt the increased use of the amber alert pre-record function, refresher training was provided along with communication to promote the initiative.
The impact was immediately seen on the device usage reports. The number of amber alerts recorded by the team increased tenfold, reflecting the new guidance for drivers to use the function throughout the day. Furthermore, usage has remained high, demonstrating that the new working practices have been successfully embedded within drivers’ day-to-day work routines.
“The Reliance Protect service gave us the flexibility and functionality we needed to introduce new processes,
enhance the service and reinvigorate use by staff to ensure devices are used in a more intelligent way. As a
result, it is easier to mitigate risk and meet our duty of care for employees while ensuring compliance with
regulatory health and safety guidelines. Drivers have welcomed the changes. They now have added reassurance of
emergency support and man-down protection during working hours”
Robert Matthews Logistics Officer, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Reliance Protect is the market leading lone worker protection solution with over 35,000 users throughout the UK. A fixed monthly fee, starting at just £5.80 a month, allows customers to easily and effectively budget to protect their lone working colleagues.