Based in central London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust comprises two of the largest hospitals in the UK, employing over 13,000 staff.
In April 2011, the Trust took over responsibility for the provision of community services in Lambeth and Southwark. As a result of this transfer, the Trust ‘inherited’ 471 personal safety devices which were purchased from the 2009 Lone Worker Framework Agreement.
Jayne King – the Trust’s head of security, portering and reception services – was mandated to ensure the lone worker system provided robust protection for all community-based staff. King discovered that the incumbent system relied on inferior cell ID location-based technology, and many of the staff were not comfortable with using the devices.
That being the case, King conducted a thorough evaluation of lone worker protection providers available on the market, subsequently discovering that Skyguard’s service met all of the Trust’s requirements.
Skyguard’s MySOS device was chosen as the replacement solution due to its GPS technology which sends the alarm location during an emergency and allows the staffs’ whereabouts to be tracked by managers online via Skyguard’s client portal.
Incorporation of the latest technology
“Skyguard’s MySOS was the obvious choice as it incorporates the latest technology,” urged King, ” while being easy to use. It also offers good value for money.”
At the earliest opportunity in February 2013, the Trust initially ordered 70 MySOS devices to protect Midwifery teams as their existing contract was due to expire.
As part of the service implementation, all staff using these new devices received face-to-face training sessions with a Skyguard trainer to ensure they fully understand how to use all of the features.
In addition to the SOS button which links to Skyguard’s UK-based Incident Management Centre, the device features voice memo and speed dial buttons. The voice memo feature allows staff to leave a message (amber alert) on Skyguard’s system detailing where they are going and who they are visiting. If they raise an SOS alarm this message can be listened to by Skyguard’s controllers, cross-referenced with their GPS location and passed on to the emergency services and/or duty manager.
The speed dial button can be programmed to call a specific number allowing the device to be used as a mobile phone. Midwifery staff use this as a back-up in case their mobiles are lost or stolen.
Additional convenience or protection
Following a successful implementation to the Midwifery teams, the Trust subsequently migrated other Community Service teams to using the MySOS devices.
Some departments have also purchased accessories which offer additional convenience or protection such as in-car chargers, roaming SIM cards and identity card holders.
“One of the most impressive aspects of Skyguard’s service is the project management during implementation,” added King. “At every step, Skyguard provides full support ensuring that each team is set-up with the minimum of fuss, making the process quick and easy.”
The Trust now has over 600 MySOS devices protecting its lone working staff, with more being added on an ongoing basis as and when required.
Irrespective of the job role or a given individual’s specific circumstances, Skyguard’s service ensures that they have 24/7 personalised protection at the touch of a button.
Will Murray, Skyguard’s marketing director, commented: “We are delighted to be working with one of the largest and most famous NHS Trusts in the country. Over 70 NHS trusts have switched to Skyguard which confirms our ongoing commitment to offering superior service levels at unbeatable prices.”