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Protection for lone housing service workers in south east England

Connexion2 : 09 July, 2008  (Application Story)
By deploying Identicom lone worker protection units to its housing service workers, Family Mosaic offers peace of mind to vulnerable staff who can face hostile confrontation
Protection for lone housing service workers in south east England
Family Mosaic, one of the largest providers of homes and supported housing services in London and Essex, has purchased 277 Identicom units as part of an ongoing roll-out of SoloProtect, a best-of-breed protection service for its scheme based personnel when working alone. Providing homes, housing services and sheltered schemes to around 45,000 people in 20,000 homes across London and Essex, Family Mosaic's range of support services to tenants and vulnerable adults include those with mental health problems.

As support workers work closely with young people leaving care, former rough sleepers and people with brain injury, both in sheltered schemes and out in the community, Family Mosaic wanted to ensure that its staff had the ability to assess risk and discreetly raise an alarm if threatened.

Existing methods for lone worker safety relied on staff registering how long they anticipated being with a client via an automated system accessed through a Blackberry. However, when a visit took longer than anticipated, due to additional time needed to sort out a tenant's problem, an automated alert would be raised unnecessarily, necessitating the involvement of senior managers.

Aware of the need to update its lone worker protection, Family Mosaic's Group Health & Safety Advisor, Russ Bower, decided to investigate products that would enable support staff to raise the alarm if necessary. After initially looking at six different products, Russ decided to investigate the SoloProtect package from Connexion2. Combining the five-core elements that are essential for a credible and complete lone worker solution, SoloProtect includes the award winning Identicom device, SIM and inclusive airtime, user training, 24 hour manned monitoring and unique TotalCare pre and post sale customer support.

"SoloProtect satisfies our needs by providing us with a total solution package", says Russ Bower. "Family Mosaic provides a wide range of support services which can result in staff having to deal with difficult and disturbed adults. As such, tricky situations may arise which can potentially put our lone workers at risk".

SoloProtect combines the market leading lone worker protection device with a 24/7 manned monitoring service accredited to the highest UK standard, BS5979 Cat II, through a partnership with Reliance Security, an established market leader in the provision of electronic security solutions. SoloProtect provides end user training, which has been delivered to thousands of lone workers.

"SoloProtect was chosen for its simplicity of pricing, ease of use and its 24/7 monitoring centre", concluded Russ Bower. "Identicom enables our support workers to manage their own safety and our Managers to focus on their roles knowing that support staff's safety are being monitored".

When an employee feels they are entering a hazardous situation, they press an amber alert button, providing important location information to SoloProtect's monitoring centre. If the red alert is then pressed the centres' support staff can discreetly listen in to what is happening and make an assessment as to the level of support required- involving the police if necessary and verify the user's location through the amber alert and location positioning technology. In the event of a verbal confrontation, the Centre can also record the conversation for future action.
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