The Trust provides specialist community and mental health services to local people, principally in the Portsmouth and Southampton area with some services reaching across a wider part of Hampshire. Due to the nature of the services provided there is a significant proportion of their 3800+ staff who work in the community, often alone.
Recent alarming statistics show 21% of NHS mental health staff across England and Wales have reported at least one physical assault in the past year. Simon Zammit, Solent NHS Trust’s Local Security Management Specialist, was entrusted to implement appropriate, effective lone worker protection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the Trust’s community-based clinical staff.
An EU tender process commenced with the intention of sourcing the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for the Trust’s needs. Upon a thorough evaluation of each supplier’s proposal, due to the combination of Skyguard’s technical and financial bid, Skyguard were awarded the contract to supply 700 MySOS personal safety devices to the Trust.
Skyguard were chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, the MySOS device’s design and technical specification impressed the award committee. With simple one button alarm activation, an alarm containing the user’s personal details and GPS location is sent to Skyguard’s 24/7 operated Incident Management Centre where highly-trained Controllers will manage any emergency. Although the device has a wealth of features and functions, the simplicity of operation and the flexibility afforded to users in the way the device can be carried was a big plus point.
It wasn’t just the MySOS that the Trust were impressed with; protection of employees and those in your care is a serious business and to be awarded a contract to safeguard high-risk staff requires assurances of the highest level. Skyguard are externally audited and approved to the highest industry standards – BS 8484:2011, BS 5979 (Category II) and the Association of Chief Police Officer’s ‘Secured by Design’ accolade. The compliance to these standards plus the adherence to NHS Information Governance requirements demonstrated Skyguard’s ongoing commitment to supplying the very best in lone worker protection.
Since the award of the contract, Skyguard worked closely with the Trust to ensure an effective implementation plan was put into action. Simon was impressed with the professional support during the implementation, which was tailored to suit the needs of the organisation in training staff and deploying units at the earliest opportunity.
Simon Zammit commented, “A deciding factor in choosing Skyguard was the clear demonstration of their desire to work with the Trust to ensure an effective roll out”.
“We’ve been proven right in our choice; the service from Skyguard has been very professional, right from the early days during the procurement project through the implementation, where they have proved extremely flexible and helpful, and into the operational deployment of the service and devices.”
Skyguard’s service has already proved invaluable for at least one Solent NHS Trust Community Nurse. Upon leaving a visit with a patient, she came across an elderly man having a seizure and drifting out of consciousness. The nurse activated her MySOS device, calling for help whilst providing CPR. Skyguard’s Controllers were able to manage the emergency, calling and directing an ambulance to the scene, which enabled the nurse to concentrate on keeping the gentleman alive. Skyguard can prove a vital lifeline in many forms – not just lone worker protection.
Will Murray, Skyguard’s Marketing Director commented “More and more NHS Trusts are switching to Skyguard because our service is easy to use, reliable and responsive. These are essential qualities when you are facing a potentially life-threatening situation, giving staff confidence and allowing them to focus on their job.”
When asked if he would recommend Skyguard to other Trusts, Simon commented “I have already. Simply because the service has been great and provides real reassurance to our staff, while helping the Trust to fulfil its Duty of Care.”