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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) has become the first UK health service provider to adopt CriticalArc’s SafeZone technology for lone worker protection, staff safety, mass and targeted communications, and emergency response coordination.   

SafeZone was acquired through the UK Government Cloud 12 Framework and is being delivered in partnership with Chubb UK. The service will help provide rapid emergency assistance for the Trust’s 5000 plus staff – including lone workers out in the community – with specialist help available regardless of the user’s location. The technology precisely locates checked-in users and enables control room operators to coordinate faster responses, for example, by directing all relevant responders to the scene of an accident.  

As well as improving personal safety for thousands of healthcare workers across Kent, senior managers believe the technology will deliver far-reaching efficiency benefits that could serve as a model for other NHS trusts to follow. For example, SafeZone will improve workforce management, communication and coordination between local care teams and their team leaders.   


SafeZone App for Healthcare

The technology allows the Trust to set-up any number of user-groups in specialist categories so that alerts can be directed to the most appropriate manager, depending on whether the staff member is asking for routine advice, reporting a non-urgent problem using the ‘See it? Say it!’ feature in the SafeZone app, or calling for emergency response. This will allow more efficient and flexible coordination of care delivery.  

The technology is also expected to lead to more accurate recording of aggression against staff, and reporting of health and safety issues, because incidents can now be escalated directly to the Security Team for recording and provision of advice and guidance with additional support from their clinical line managers. Managers say this will help streamline reporting processes and make it more likely that staff will report problems.  

“This will give us a more accurate picture of risks, and free-up our clinical teams to focus on delivering patient care, while the security department can intervene more effectively to keep people safe,” said Wayne Sherratt, KCHFT Head of Security.  

Chubb’s 24/7 control room operation will ensure seamless monitoring and support for the healthcare teams at night, maintaining uninterrupted response even when the trust’s Security Team aren’t immediately available. Chubb’s controllers will provide advice for staff requesting help and contact the police as needed.  

Wayne added: “Chubb have demonstrated a flexible and supportive approach to our particular needs”.   

The SafeZone solution will replace more traditional lone worker technologies that were previously locally managed, creating siloed systems. With NHS providers under continual financial pressure, Wayne hopes the new service will deliver significant savings by providing a single-platform centralised solution for the whole trust.  

Further savings will be generated by SafeZone functions including ‘tip reporting’ which will make it easy for staff to send early notifications highlighting issues –anything from broken equipment to a spill in the stairwell that could cause an accident.   

SafeZone is already used by more than 45% of universities in the UK to improve safeguarding for students and staff, and many of its capabilities will be as transformative for the healthcare sector. Darren  

Chalmers-Stevens, CriticalArc’s, Chief Operating Officer, said: “CriticalArc is now helping to provide the best round-the-clock protection for nurses, medical teams, and care staff across Kent. As the first NHS provider to adopt SafeZone, KCHFT is demonstrating its determination to make staff safety and wellbeing a top priority, and to unlock significant new benefits in terms of staff retention, efficiency of operations and value for money. SafeZone makes it easy for organisations to connect with their people – whether they are based remotely, lone working in the community, travelling on business, or present on-site – transforming how they respond to incidents and allowing them to offer Safety Everywhere™, wherever there is a duty of care.”

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