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News

NHS Foundation Trust Takes Staff Protection Seriously with Romad Lone Worker Protection

Romad : 01 March, 2010  (Application Story)
With violence against hospital staff in the UK continuing to increase, the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust are fulfilling their duty of care requirements and protecting their staff who are at highest risk of suffering from aggressive behaviour by supplying Romad RSP100 Lone Worker Protection alarms with SOS and GPS functions
NHS Foundation Trust Takes Staff Protection Seriously with Romad Lone Worker Protection
The level of physical violence against NHS staff has failed to improve for the fourth year in a row according to a recent staff survey. It has also been reported that 12% of NHS workers have experienced physical violence from patients or their relatives.

Against the backdrop of these statistics it is not perhaps surprising that the NHS as a whole continues to operate a zero tolerance campaign and that individual NHS Trusts are looking at every possible way to protect their staff as well as comply with their responsibilities as specified by the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust decided to evaluate what measures could be taken to add to the protection of staff who had been assessed as being at high risk of attack whilst on duty both within the hospital campus and the wider community. These groups of staff were identified as those on call and working in the areas of Pathology, Radiography, Special Care Baby Unit and Community Midwifery.

With incidents of violence and aggression on the rise towards members of NHS staff, the Trust felt it essential to give its lone workers as much protection as it reasonably could.

"We carried out extensive research and looked at a variety of options that were available for lone worker protection," said Ann Stansfield, the Trust's Health & Safety Advisor. "What was fundamentally important to us was that staff had to have confidence that the technology used was reliable and what we therefore needed was a robust solution which could be used anywhere within our three hospital sites as well as in the wider community."

Ann and her colleagues' preference for the Romad RSP100 were based on a number of factors. "We chose to work with the RSP100 because it could offer two way speech and therefore provide a method of contacting staff at any time, as well as providing them with a mechanism to raise an alarm," added Ann. "Another reason was that our managers could access the secure web based software platform at any time to instantly update staff details or change the speed-dial programming of individual Romad RSP100 units. Overall it was felt that the RSP100 with its restricted and therefore controlled outbound calling, together with the simple but effective means of raising an alarm, offered the best option."

The Trust conducted a trial involving a small number of staff before purchasing the RSP100 for all its lone workers. The trial generated positive feedback and also identified that whilst staff would be wary of an in-house managed lone worker scheme, they felt far more comfortable with a solution where their movements were monitored by an external organisation."

Eighteen months on from equipping all its lone workers with Romad RSP 100's, the Trust is content that it made the right decision. "The Romad solution with all its call capabilities, S.O.S and GPS facilities and twenty-four hour call centre has met all our employee's requirements at a very reasonable price", concluded Ann Stansfield.

The Romad RSP-100's small size and light weight, (it weighs just 62.5g with the standard battery attached), means it can be worn on a lanyard or clipped to a belt. Simple over the air commands are used to configure the device, providing 4 pre-programmable speed dial numbers and a rugged SOS alert button. One of the pre-allocated speed dial numbers, for example, allows lone workers to leave a recorded message when they arrive at an appointment. This message is safely stored on the Romad server and can be quickly retrieved if the user is out of contact or if there is concern for his or her welfare.

Utilising GPS based technology which interacts with leading alarm receiving software or with Romad's own hosted monitoring software platform, the RSP-100's equips employers to know exactly where their lone workers are whenever they need assistance.

The RSP-100 is the first Lone Worker Protection device to be truly compliant with the recently published British Standard 8484 Code of Practice. It can in fact claim to be the only stand-alone device which incorporates both GPS and GSM communication and tracking. Most importantly it complies with the BS 8484 specification that people carrying Lone Worker Protection devices should be able to be located within 10 metres.

Hundreds of thousands of organisations, such as hospitals in the UK have had to take a closer look at their Health & Safety policies since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act under which an organisation will be guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed is judged to be a gross breach of the duty of care it owes to its employees.
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