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With the new year in sight, Reliance High-Tech is reminding all UK public sector and not-for-profit organisations that they only have until 30 April, 2017, to sign up or renew a contract for its Reliance Protect lone worker safety service package via an exclusive NHS Framework Agreement.

NHS Framework Agreement

The NHS Framework Agreement was originally introduced in 2009 and renewed in 2013 to encourage the NHS and wider public sector organisations to create safer conditions for staff working alone often in community-based roles.

From 30 April, 2017, public sector organisations will not be able to take out any new contracts via this Framework for lone worker solutions. However, any organisation signing a contract with Reliance Protect before the deadline can continue to benefit from the current lone worker solution package for up to another five years, until 2021, safe in the knowledge that Reliance Protect currently supports upwards of 40,000 users on contracts through to 2021.

With more than 520 public sector contracts, Reliance Protect is a provider of lone worker protection services. In addition to the 230 contracts held with NHS Trust organisations, the service is benefiting local authorities, social housing providers, charities, education providers, probation services, and central government agencies.

Roaming sim card service

Commenting, Chris Allcard, Head of Lone Worker Services at Reliance High-Tech, said: “Despite increasing costs, we have bucked industry trends and maintained our 2013 prices over the four years of the current Framework. Aware of the financial pressures facing the public sector, our intention is to keep the current prices fixed for all customers under the NHS Framework Agreement, including organisations who sign new contracts before the 30 April 2017 deadline.”

“We will continue to upgrade the service as new technologies come on stream”

“We will continue to upgrade the service as new technologies come on stream. We are making major investments in staffing levels and systems support, including a new online customer portal with far greater functionality, features, and benefits. Reflecting changing user needs, we’ve strengthened the service over the four years, by adding flexibility around sharing devices to cater for a more mobile and flexible workforce, along with improved monthly reporting to enhance insights into usage patterns.”

“Other new features include a roaming sim card service option for staff in remote areas where mobile phone coverage may be weak, plus a new welfare check system to give staff and managers additional reassurance. What’s more, the team manager and train-the-trainer courses we’ve developed have been extremely popular.”

Amber alerts

Since 2013, more than 33,000 red alerts have been handled by Reliance Protect for NHS Framework customers. Users have logged more than 3.4m amber alerts, enabling them to provide notifications of potentially vulnerable situations including details of locations due to be visited, the nature of tasks to be performed, and risks identified. The average number of amber alerts per device has risen from six to eight per month over the last eighteen months, demonstrating that the devices are increasingly being adopted as part of the daily routine of working safely.

In the same period, Reliance Protect has handled 12,500 requests from users and managers, while almost 2,000 lost, stolen, or damaged devices have been replaced free of charge. More than 33,000 people have been trained in more than 4,300 user training sessions. Furthermore, more than 3,400 devices have been redeployed to ensure new staff coming in have access to a device quickly.

Mitigating risk

Underpinning this activity has been the delivery of quality service levels. These include swapping out a minimum of 90% of all faulty devices within one working day, resolving a minimum of 65% of queries on the initial phone call into customer support and picking up a minimum of 98.5% of all alarms within ten seconds.

“Despite increasing costs, we have bucked industry trends and maintained our 2013 prices over the four years of the current Framework”

Offering proven value with the convenience of a fully managed service and guaranteed service levels, the NHS Framework Agreement eliminates the day-to-day burden on public sector employers of procuring, implementing and running their own lone worker protection operations. It offers an easy, cost-effective way for employers to mitigate risk, fulfil their duty of care and create a safer working environment via a service that is fully transparent, constantly monitored and accountable to rigorous NHS benchmarks.

The service combines market-leading personal protection devices with the full assurance of swift back up in the event of a threat or concern. Accredited to the most stringent standards including BS 8484, it gives field workers, community-based employees and other public sector staff who may face verbal or physical abuse at work, the peace of mind that emergency support is available at the touch of a button.

BS8484 accreditation

The NHS Framework Agreement enables any public-sector organisation to procure Reliance Protect services without a drawn-out or costly tender process. The team takes care of the initial implementation and ongoing administration backed by extensive field-based training, e-learning, local team leader engagement and reporting, enabling customers to focus on their priorities while assured that their staff are safeguarded.

Reliance Protect is the UK’s most regulated and compliant lone worker protection solution available. BS8484 accreditation ensures the company, its lone worker devices, monitoring and alarm response capability are fit for purpose and enables alarms to be escalated directly through to regional police services, bypassing the traditional 999 route, to generate the highest police response levels where appropriate. BS5979 Category II is critical for any organisation looking to safeguard workers as it is the highest industry standard for alarm monitoring centres. In addition, ISO27001 accreditation ensures that all customer and staff data is securely managed and dealt with in complete confidence.

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