July 13, 2015

Gaps in Lone Worker Protection NHS Protect Survey Finds

In the fast paced developing environment of lone worker protection and increasing mobility of NHS staff, NHS Protect initiated a survey of over 2000 NHS stakeholders and more than 700 commissioned services to compile a comprehensive survey of lone worker protection across the NHS in England. 

The survey, which will be used to refresh understanding and inform future decisions, found a wide variation in the provision of lone worker protection employers. Some of the key points are outlined below.

  • Badge holder type lone worker devices (over 60% of the NHS market) remain more popular than key fob devices.
  • Use of mobile phones for lone work is steadily rising. Occupational therapists and community health staff are shown as the highest users of management systems and alarm type solutions.
  • Different sectors experience very different levels of assaults on workers.
  • The sector with the lowest number of assaults (acute) has the highest usage of devices (73.83 per cent), but many other factors may be contributing to this figure.
  • The ambulance sector has the lowest rate of lone worker device usage (41.67%).
  • The mental health sector (where NHS staff suffer the highest assault rate at 223 per 1000) does not have a higher rate of lone worker device usage to reflect this.
  • In their lone worker protection planning for the next two years, most NHS organisations are looking at lone worker devices (41%), training (40%), management systems (28%) and CCTV (31%).
  • The lowest level of intention to improve lone worker protection is found among organisations with the lowest level of current protection, (29.4% for no devices versus 52.9% for some devices). There is a risk that the majority improve protection but a few organisations retain an insufficient level of protection without the desire to improve.
  • Employers identified their main barriers to improving lone worker protection in the near future as being lack of funding (61.8%) and lack of resources available (43.4%).

Maybo recommends that training isincluded in lone worker protection strategies and and used alongside the provision of protection devices can significantly reduce risks for those working alone. 

Maybo lone worker eLearning

Maybo lone worker training