Extension to NHS Framework Agreement for Reliance High-Tech boosts UK lone worker safety

PrintReliance High-Tech has confirmed that its exclusive Framework Agreement for delivering Reliance Protect lone worker safety services to staff in both the NHS and the UK’s public sector is now extended for a further year until April 2017.

In practice, the Framework Agreement enables any UK public sector organisation that has not yet done so to offer its lone workers the benefits of enhanced personal protection and 24/7 specialist security support whenever they may be exposed to heightened risks at work.

Reliance High-Tech is already assisting hundreds of NHS Trusts, local authorities, social housing providers, charities and central Government agencies to safeguard thousands of lone workers with its Reliance Protect solution via the NHS Framework Agreement.

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 organisations of procuring, implementing and running their own lone worker protection solutions. It also offers an easy and cost-effective way for employers to mitigate risk, fulfil their Duty of Care to employees and create a safer working environment via a solution that’s fully transparent, constantly monitored and accountable to rigorous NHS benchmarks.

The decision to extend the agreement for a fourth year is a compelling endorsement of the Reliance Protect service. That service combines personal protection devices with the full assurance of swift back-up in the event of a threat or concern being raised. Compliant with the most stringent safety standards, Reliance Protect 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.

Wider public sector uptake

Since April 2013, upwards of 30,000 new end users have signed up to the service, with the rate of uptake rising month-on-month as awareness grows. While NHS Trusts remain the core of the customer base, the uptake in the wider public sector has grown significantly. The aforementioned social housing providers, local authorities, charities, probation services and central Government bodies represent over 50% of new clients now accessing the solution.

Commenting on the news, Chris Allcard (head of lone worker solutions at Reliance High-Tech) said: “We’re delighted that the NHS Framework Agreement is being extended for another year. It provides a resounding confirmation that the service is meeting our customers’ requirements. Recent months have been extremely busy as we’ve further developed our services, upgraded existing customers to new devices and contracts and rolled out solutions for new clients. More organisations have signed up for the service in the last year than at any previous time. In support of this, we’re investing significantly in staff and IT systems. We’ve doubled both our field-based training team and customer support team in the last 12 months.”

Allcard continued: “The NHS Framework Agreement enables any public sector organisation to procure Reliance Protect services – which are fully transparent with agreed costs, guaranteed service metrics and robust quality assurance – without a drawn-out or costly tender process. What’s more, our team takes care of the administration backed by extensive field-based training, e-learning, local team leader engagement and reporting, in turn enabling our customers to focus on their business priorities while we help safeguard their members of staff.”

In the coming months, Reliance High-Tech will launch a number of service developments, including more flexibility around shared devices. These new features and functions will support changing work patterns such as round-the-clock working, greater workforce mobility and developments in management information reporting, while also further strengthening overall end user safety.

Regulated and compliant

Reliance Protect is one of the UK’s most regulated and compliant lone worker protection solutions available. BS 8484 accreditation ensures that Reliance High-Tech, its lone worker devices, monitoring and alarm response capabilities 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 when and where appropriate.

BS 5979 Category II is critical for any organisation looking to safeguard their workers as it’s the highest industry standard for alarm monitoring centres. In addition, ISO 27001 accreditation ensures that all customer and staff data is securely managed and dealt with in complete confidence.

The NHS Framework Agreement offers a range of the latest lone worker devices that link to the BS 5979 Category II-approved Reliance Monitoring Centre using GSM, SMS and GPS technology. Trained Reliance Protect operators listen to and capture everything that takes place during an incident and respond appropriately, including calls to the Emergency Services, alerting colleagues/supervisors and archiving recordings as evidence for any legal action.

For a fixed monthly all-inclusive fee, the solution comprises a device or smart phone application, 24/7 manned monitoring and a Help Desk, face-to-face training at customer sites across the UK, all airtime and comprehensive customer management support and reporting.

Key features of the NHS Framework Agreement

Key features of the NHS Framework Agreement include the following:

*Cost-effective and affordable solutions: Lower fixed and all-inclusive monthly pricing available from £5.80 per month

*Latest technology: A variety of feature-rich and BS 8484-compliant devices including the Identicom Series 8 range featuring one or two-way audio, the latest GPS technology, temperature sensors and man-down functionality. In addition, smart phone applications provide a cost-effective solution for lower risk staff who infrequently work alone

*Improved reporting: Web-based tools that enable managers to run comprehensive custom reports in order to help maximise usage levels

*Enhanced management support: Supporting the dedicated account team, the 24/7/365 Help Desk maintains a flexible, proactive approach towards managing contracts within the monthly fixed fee. Reassigning devices is quick and easy, keeping to a bare minimum the time end users are without the service while the online portal enables fast access to enhanced administration services and support

*BS 8484 accreditation: Ensures alarms are escalated to the police services, where warranted, through the dedicated police lone worker Unique Reference Number (URN) system, in turn guaranteeing that those alarms are passed to the police in the shortest time possible

*Service performance levels: Continuously measured and analysed by the NHS, Reliance Protect meets stringent service levels set against strict performance criteria to ensure the very highest performance levels across the lone worker service sector

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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