Case Study – Newport Mind
The Newport branch of mental health support charity, Mind, approached First2HelpYou looking for an easy to use, reliable lone worker solution. Read on to find out the lone worker issues encountered by the charity and what we did to help them keep their staff safer.
People and Housing Support
Newport Mind is a mental health organisation based in the city of Newport in South Wales. One of the services the charity provides involves staff going out into the community, supporting people with mental health conditions so that they can sustain their tenancies independently. Newport Mind also runs their own supported housing system for people with greater care needs.
An Unused System
“Our staff work out in the community with a varied range of people”, explains Hazel Diamond, Housing & Supporting People Service Manager, “service users can have a variety of problems, some of which may make them unpredictable or hard to read. It’s quite difficult to assess risk when working with unpredictable people and there is always a risk that our staff could be attacked, both physically and verbally.”
“We had a lone worker solution in place for our employees as we wanted to ensure that if a situation turned hostile, we could get them the help they needed, quickly,” continues Hazel, “we want to protect both our employees and service users, so we provided staff with a lone worker app. However, people just didn’t take to the solution and found it confusing to use. We also worried that an app wasn’t a robust enough solution because, in an emergency, the user would have to first find their mobile phone to activate an alarm.”
In addition to staff not using their lone worker apps, Hazel tells us that she worried about the team as she had no reliable way to know where they all were and if they were ok. Even with diarised visits, schedules can and do change, and staff can be anywhere within a moment’s notice.
A Faster, Safer Way
As soon as Newport Mind got in touch, we consulted with them on the above issues and came up with a much better solution for Hazel and her team.
“We immediately felt that the First2HelpYou KIT device was the right solution for us,” says Hazel, “the small size of the device and the fact that it can be worn on a lanyard behind an ID badge, easily fits in a pocket or can be clipped to a belt means that it is a much faster solution to use.”
After we established that staff would be better protected using a device rather than an app, we quickly got the team set up, issuing 21 devices, plus spare pool devices that are used by agency staff.
Hazel uses the Connect Portal for reassurance that the team are all ok;
“The portal is great,” she says, “when I log in, I can see where the team are, that their devices are active and their status. It’s reassuring for me and useful as I can keep an eye on usage too. I want to make sure that the team are using their devices and not putting themselves at risk. So far the reception has been very good and our team much prefer the devices to our previous app system.”
Supporting Support Staff
We are thrilled to be working with Newport Mind – they provide a service which is an essential lifeline for many people and their staff deserve to be able to do their jobs with a level of security and comfort that they are safe.
“Our team do an amazing job, but the risks presented by the people we support, although not their own fault, can’t be ignored. We all feel a lot more secure working with a reliable lone worker solutions provider like First2HelpYou. The devices we use are small but the amount of reassurance they bring to me and the rest of the team is huge,” concludes Hazel.