The NHS has a duty of care to ensure the safety of all its staff, including lone workers, who are particularly vulnerable in an emergency due to the lack of direct supervision.
Lone working staff in the NHS can be exposed to violence and aggression from members of the public, both in hospital settings and when providing care at home. They also need to be protected from other potential causes of harm, including accident, injury or medical emergency.
According to the Health Service Journal, there are an estimated 312 assaults per trust on average every year.
The latest NHS Staff Survey shows that 28.3% of staff experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment or abuse from patients, their relatives or other members of the public in the last 12 months.
Nurses, paramedics and mental health staff are among those most likely to be assaulted, with statistics showing that 33.3% of ambulance staff experienced violence from patients in the previous year and 1 in 5 mental health staff experienced violence whilst at work.
To mitigate these risks, all NHS trusts need to ensure that they have undertaken risk assessments and have an up-to-date lone worker policy in place. To ensure that lone workers in the NHS can get help quickly and easily, StaySafe is widely used by NHS trusts to monitor the safety status of their staff and get them help in an emergency.