Lone Workers are becoming more and more recognised as an essential and effective part of the workforce here in the U.K, they are also recognised as some of the most vulnerable employees in society, and lone workers in the NHS are no different.
From porters to surgeons, and from reception staff to high level trustee members on the board, many thousands of people spend some, if not all of their time working alone within the NHS.
So, who are these employees, what are the risks, and how do we protect them?
Here in this week’s blog, we are going to examine lone workers in the NHS in more detail.
Want to find out more? Read on!
Who Are Lone Workers in The NHS?
If you’ve ever stopped to consider just how many people actually work in the NHS it is a jaw dropping number.
In fact, according to some statistics, with 1.3 MILLION employees, the NHS is globally, the 8th largest employer, and if you take in to consideration all of the temporary and freelance staff, the figure is nearer to 1.6 million.
To put this in to some kind of perspective, McDonalds, who have burger chains in over 100 countries around the world, employ 1.5 million people, so our National Health Service is surely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to its hard-working personnel!
Within this figure, there is naturally going to be a percentage of people who work alone, and the National Health Service has a comprehensive policy to cover lone working in the NHS. It is clear and reassuring to anybody who works for the NHS that their personal safety is of paramount importance to their employer and that the NHS take great care to meet the legal requirements set out to protect lone workers. You can view this policy here.
This policy includes details of training, risk assessments and advice for lone workers regarding travel and the use of public transport.
The policy also covers Lone Working Devices, and whilst it recognises that any level of technology will ultimately not prevent incidents from occurring, it does state that a lone worker safety device, can “enhance the protection of lone workers”.
In addition, the Royal College of Nursing offers further guidance for health and care staff who are considered to be lone workers, stating that anybody who work alone for long or even shorter periods of time are more at risk from verbal and physical abuse and patients who could become aggressive in some way.
Just some of the situations where you are working alone could include;
- Caring in the home
- One to one consultation in a surgery or office
- Escorting and transferring patients from one place to another along corridors or in lifts
- Arriving first on the scene of an incident
Remember this list is by far from exhaustive, it just gives some idea of where employees could be at risk, and not even realise until it’s too late.
How Can a Lone Worker Device Enhance Protection of Lone Workers in The NHS?
So, how can a lone worker device enhance the protection of lone workers? Particularly in this instance, lone workers in the NHS?
Well, as there are lots of variations of lone worker roles, the first thing to consider is what the risks are in each scenario, and here at First2HelpYou, we are keen to ensure that you benefit firstly from an expert consultation before you look at purchasing any of the products available for lone worker protection.
This is to ensure we understand the needs of your organisation and working practices, whether this is within a large hospital environment, (yes people can still be lone workers in this instance), or you are employed in a local general practice, where there is sometimes only one person on reception for example.
We take the implementation process very seriously. All our customers receive a thorough consultation to ensure the correct solution is chosen; one that will meet the needs of your workers.
It could be that the lone worker standard telephone solution is the best product to serve your needs, or you may consider the KIT device which offers versatile protection as a discreet ID badge or a fob. All our monitoring is 24/7/365-essential in a sector that doesn’t take holidays.
There are a wide variety of products available, and First2HelpYou are specialists in assisting you to choose the right product for the individual needs of each organisation we work with.
We also offer advice on how to mitigate risks to Lone Workers through our lone worker training programmes.
So, if you are an employee or an employer and you wish to discuss the protection of your lone workers in the NHS in more detail, you can contact us here, or call us TODAY on 0333 772 9401 to discuss your options and take the worry out of your hands.
Because let’s face it, nobody who works alone should be put at risk, but especially our wonderful NHS staff, and whilst the NHS is a beacon of reassurance in the levels they go to in protecting their employees, there is always more that can be done.
All of the First2HelpYou solutions meet the lone working protection industry standards of BS8484 and we are so confident that you will be thoroughly satisfied with the exceptional service levels we offer a 30-Day Trial, completely free of charge.
Contact First2HelpYou, the lone working industry experts today to find out more!