Lone Worker Protection for Healthcare Workers
Keep health and social care workers safe from violence, abuse and aggression
It’s been widely reported that incidents of violence, abuse and aggression towards health and social care workers and NHS staff has increased significantly in recent times, perhaps aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Nursing Times recently noted that more than a third of doctors have been subject to verbal attacks from members of the public and 51% have witnessed violence or abuse against a colleague in the past year.
Doctors, nurses, social care workers and others within the healthcare industry are often subject to increased social and environmental risk due to the high level of lone working in the industry.
Can a healthcare worker be a lone worker?
Even though they might work in the same building as their colleagues, e.g. a hospital, GP surgery or care home, healthcare workers are often alone with patients or family members. Moreover, community healthcare workers are often lone workers, going into patients’ homes to provide care and support.
Our blog What is a lone worker? explains more.
"You can be quite vulnerable. There's a lot of lone working involved in some practices, so quite often after a certain time on certain days I'm alone, I might be the only one in the practice along with one or two receptionists."
Protecting the health and safety of healthcare workers
It’s evident that without a colleague in sight or earshot, healthcare workers need to have a way to discreetly call for help should an incident occur.
Deploying a SoloProtect personal safety solution can deliver safety, security and wellbeing benefits to healthcare workers on the frontline and those based in the community. It can also help department managers and the wider organisation to deliver genuine operational value.
A lone worker solution can:
- Give peace of mind to mobile healthcare staff and lone workers that emergency help will be available, 24/7, at the push of a button via a discreet lone worker device
- Help healthcare workers and managers to document verbal abuse for use in any legal proceedings and training purposes
- Deliver protection against trips, slips and falls via automatic incapacitation detection (Man Down Alarm)
- Provide up-to-date location information to managers and team leaders to assist in the coordination of mobile healthcare teams
- Deliver dashboard reporting to stakeholders on safety solution usage via SoloProtect Insights
- Receive up-to-date information regarding the working status of employees across a team or group
- Support workers to report incidents of violence, abuse, or aggression, and document them effectively.
Lone worker risk assessment and policy
It’s important for the NHS and other healthcare organisations to protect their workers from risk.
A comprehensive Lone Worker Risk Assessment should be completed for all healthcare staff before they are allowed to work alone and health and social care organisations should also ensure their Lone Worker Policy is up to date.
Safer health and social care workers ensure safer patients
While improving safety and security for workers within healthcare settings is crucial, we should consider the positive impact this can have on patient safety, too.
In a recent article in The Lancet called "No patient safety without health worker safety", the authors explain:
"Ongoing violence against health workers and inadequate workplace safety further threaten health workers' mental and physical health.
"There now needs to be universal recognition that health worker safety is patient safety. One cannot exist without the other. A focus on ensuring safe working environments will lead to improved patient care."
Next steps to keep your healthcare employees safe
SoloProtect works with NHS Trusts, GP Practices, Hospitals, Care Homes, and Private Medical organisations that benefit from using a mixture of safety devices and our mobile app as an extension of their PPE, and scalable functionality to suit their needs.
"Having used SoloProtect for well over four years now, I have complete trust in the solution. If you ever feel you’re entering an uncomfortable situation, you have a discreet way of raising an alarm. Even if a situation never arrives, knowing that they have the tools to deal with a potentially aggressive incident, provides our lone workers with peace of mind."
Head of Community Nursing, St Luke's Hospice
Business Case Support
You can read more about the benefits of investing in a personal safety or lone working solution in our Business Case Support document - available on the Knowledge Base.
Guide to Personal Safety Solutions for Community Health and Social Care Workers
Download our short guide which explains the risks community health and social care workers regularly face, how the SoloProtect solution can help you to manage those risks, and the operational benefits for managers.
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