- More than one in four NHS staff have experienced harassment, bullying or abuse at work, according to the latest NHS staff survey
- Midwives at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust can now quickly signal for help through the app in an emergency
Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust has partnered with StaySafe, the innovative lone working solution, to help protect midwives during home visits.
Chelsea and Westminster (C&W) are passionate about the quality of care provided and their woman-focused approach looks at needs throughout every stage of pregnancy. They provide maternity services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital and in the community, supporting around 11,000 women a year who give birth with them. Choices are available to plan to give birth at either hospital or at home.
Their team of Community Midwives provide support throughout pregnancy and this will almost always involve home visits.
Exercising a duty of care
C&W were concerned to ensure that they exercised their duty of care to community midwives who will typically visit homes occasionally during pregnancy and at least three times during the postnatal period following birth. When conducting these visits, they are lone workers.
They found that the use of purely messaging facilities was not working sufficiently well to provide the most effective support for their midwives and felt that this was not properly supporting their Health and Safety policy in respect of lone working.
C&W therefore investigated potential alternatives and were seeking a “gold standard” for lone worker protection but at an affordable price.
All community midwives have access to a smartphone and it was felt that the use of this technology combined with the StaySafe lone worker app was the right way forward.
StaySafe offered a fully compliant and easy to use app which promised high adoption of use by the midwives and an auditable demonstration of exercising the duty of care to their lone workers.
Experience to date
Following a successful trial C&W decided to deploy StaySafe to all community midwives.
They found that communication about the new approach with the midwives, along with regular and repeated training were key to success. Central monitoring of issues with lone workers, including regular check-ins and emergency notifications was found to be straightforward and effective.
C&W can see the benefits of using StaySafe to protect lone workers in other parts of the Trust and have already started to expand usage into other divisions beyond maternity.
Amanda Rogers, Maternity Matron at Chelsea and Westminster, comments “During the current pandemic we have had to re-evaluate how we offer home visits and this has accentuated the need to protect our midwives. We have found that the simplicity of deployment and use of StaySafe has been re-assuring for both our midwives and management, and its usability pertinent to our ever adapting service.”
Don Cameron, CEO at StaySafe adds, “NHS staff face a number of risks as their roles require frequent contact with the public. We are proud to support hard-working NHS staff during this pandemic and offer staff the peace of mind that if an incident occurs, they can respond quickly to prevent it escalating.”