With the frequent need to provide community-wide services, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust staff often find themselves working alone in patients’ homes. Sometimes, these patients may display unpredictable behaviour thus increasing the employee’s risk of becoming a victim of verbal or physical abuse. As Tom Sanders – Health and Safety Advisor for the Trust explains, “There is currently more focus on providing services out in the community.”
Skyguard’s keyfob sized MySOS devices were implemented as a means of discreet protection for lone working staff to carry on their person. Accredited to BS 8484:2016 standards, the device is equipped with the latest mobile phone and GPS tracking technology.
When the user raises the alarm, an alert is instantly sent to Skyguard’s dedicated Incident Management Centre (IMC) along with the GPS location. Using the alarm’s two-way audio, trained Controllers will first listen in and assess the situation before talking to the user and taking appropriate action. Using the escalation instructions provided, the Controller will, if necessary, directly contact the local police control room, bypassing the 999 service for a faster response. All audio and actions from the incident are digitally recorded and can be used as legal evidence if required.
Some areas of Derbyshire can be prone to poor mobile phone network coverage. For users who work or travel in these areas of poor mobile signal, their MySOS devices are fitted with “Roaming” SIM cards. Roaming SIMs utilise the signal from the strongest of the four major phone networks at any given time, thus providing the best possible chance of transmitting the alarm and mitigating against areas of poor phone signal.
Distributing the devices amongst their wide ranging community-based teams has increased the confidence of those attending in-home appointments. The device is small enough to provide adequate protection whilst not being obvious to an aggressor. Tom explains: “It’s efficient, easy to use, has great coverage and the back-up and technical support are the most impressive elements.”
Tom went on to comment on the added benefits of using the MySOS device: “Our staff now have more confidence knowing that help is at hand should it be necessary to activate the device.”
Skyguard work with over 100 NHS Trusts across the UK in providing first-class lone worker protection at cost-effective prices.