"The team feel a lot safer, with the reassurance that help is at hand should they need it."
Hertfordshire Mind Network replaced their old telephone check-in system with the StaySafe app to provide better protection for their lone working staff.
Hertfordshire Mind Network works across Hertfordshire to support positive mental health and wellbeing. The team consists of around 80 staff members and 100+ volunteers, who offer a range of services including group meeting places, NightLight crisis services, and dedicated support for adults and children to ensure no-one has to face a mental health problem alone.
Client visits and variable working patterns
Employees at Hertfordshire Mind Network face a range of potential risks whilst working alone. Their lone workers can see up to five different clients a day, with sessions held in both wellbeing centres, and out in the community. Sessions vary from client to client, but can often involve accompanying them to different appointments for emotional or practical support.
Another important aspect of the service Hertfordshire Mind Network provides, is for lone workers to visit the homes of individuals with complex needs to provide support sessions. This can include visits to high-risk areas and out-of-hours appointments. When accompanying clients, lone workers will also occasionally need to take them in their own cars.
“Every day is completely different as we see a variety of clients. You can be here, there and everywhere and it’s always different,” explains Kirsty Merry, DayLight Crisis Support Worker at Hertfordshire Mind Network.
Unfortunately, the nature of the work of Hertfordshire Mind Network means their employees can be at greater risk of physical attacks. The complex needs of clients and their families, as well as travelling alone between clients homes and the wellbeing centres, are also risk factors that are taken into consideration at the charity.
Previous check-in system was inefficient
Before switching to the StaySafe Lone Worker app, Hertfordshire Mind Network used a different system. Lone workers were required to call the office to check-in, extend, and end sessions. The charity felt this process was inefficient, and at times, unsafe.
Each lone worker was allocated a set time with clients. If they needed to extend their session, they would have to call a number to log out and then log back in again which interrupted sessions and often happened in front of clients. Depending on the situation, this process had the potential to make clients uncomfortable, and potentially aggravated.
Hertfordshire Mind Network felt that this system wasn’t fit for purpose, and the team wanted something that was easier to use.
“Before we got the StaySafe app, we had to call a specific phone number. It was quite a lengthy process and we had to remember to do it, this can be especially challenging if you are in a wellbeing centre and might only have 10 minutes to get your next appointment. Since getting the app, the whole process is a lot more efficient,” adds Kirsty.
Get help at the touch of a button
Hertfordshire Mind Network is one of many StaySafe customers within the Mind Network, and they made the switch following recommendations from other local Minds. Following a trial period, they switched to StaySafe and found the induction and rollout process really easy.
“Once lone workers received their invitation, they could complete the 15 minute in-app training and start using it straight away. Being app based, and not relying on pausing support sessions to make a call, has made the team feel a lot safer, with the reassurance that help is at hand should they need it. It has also enabled everyone to focus on the job at hand without worrying about checking-in or extending sessions,” says Danielle Levy, Head of Complex Needs and Community.
As a regular lone worker this added safety was really important for Kirsty, “I feel safe using the app and it’s part of my routine now. As soon as I arrive to see a client, I will check-in. I can set my session timer and I know there is the option to extend it as well if needed.”
Through their partnership with StaySafe, Hertfordshire Mind Network uses outsourced monitoring services from Securitas for all alerts. This gives both the organisation and their employees reassurance that all situations are dealt with by experienced and highly trained call handlers, and that lone workers will always have support even when out-of-hours alerts are raised.
Outsourced monitoring is a great solution for organisations like Hertfordshire Mind Network, who have large workforces, out-of-hours operations, or those who do not have the resources to manage lone worker safety in-house.
StaySafe has helped Hertfordshire Mind Network to enhance their lone worker safety provision so staff feel protected, no matter where or when they are working. Lone workers can raise an alarm at the push of a button in the easy-to-use app, and know help will get to them.
“Staff feel safer because they know that when they are working alone, there is always somebody who knows where they are and if they need help. With the app, it is now much easier to start, extend, and end sessions. Staff now know that if they are ever in trouble, someone is at the other end ready to help them,” adds Danielle
Low signal mode also offers additional reassurance to Hertfordshire Mind Network’s lone workers when they are working in the community. Low signal mode is a standard feature within the app, which gives users 16% more signal coverage than any other lone worker solution, by switching seamlessly between all available connections.
Don Cameron, CEO, StaySafe says, “we are very proud to further expand our partnership with the Mind network across the UK. StaySafe has been designed to be easy and discreet to use. It’s the perfect solution for protecting staff like those at Mind, who can find themselves at risk whilst providing much needed services within our communities. Our app caters for variable working patterns, and cuts down on the time spent on archaic systems, giving workers more time when dealing with clients and peace of mind that they will receive help quickly if they need it”.
To find out more about how StaySafe can help you protect your lone workers, book your free demo today.