Case in Point Personal safety for frontline care staff must be taken seriously. Aſter discovering what can

happen when safety measures aren’t up to standard, one care provider turned to Pinpoint to change things.

In recent years, the number of personal attacks suffered by frontline care and health employees has increased significantly. So, what are the reasons for this and what can be done to create a safer working environment for healthcare workers?

Budget cuts resulting in fewer staff and longer waiting times for patients are oſten given as one of the reasons for increasing numbers of assaults. Organisational changes to counteract this are taking time to make an impact. In the meantime, there are technological solutions on the market that can help make care homes a safer place to work in. For example, Pinpoint was invited to install its system at the Sunnyborough facility of Millennium Care, with amazing results.

Millennium Care Sunnyborough is a high-quality, specialised care home for people with learning difficulties and complex needs in North Yorkshire. Many of the residents there share a common trait: due to the conditions they present with, they are prone to exhibiting very challenging behaviour, which can expose staff to assault from outbursts of violent activity.

It is therefore of paramount importance that staff can covertly summon help immediately when they need to de-escalate a situation before it has the chance to become violent.

On a second level, staff also need to summon a ‘crash-team’ should a non-emergency situation arise; either due to a threat to the staff member or other residents, or indeed if a patient health emergency arises. For both of these situations to work reliably, the alarm needs to be raised from a device worn on the person because oſten the ‘threat’ could physically be in- between the staff member and a wall-mounted call button.

Rachel Blackburn, Head of Care Homes for Millennium Care, explained: “We learnt the hard way that not all personal safety alarm systems are adequate. In 2013 when we opened our Sunnyborough facility, we installed a system

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from a manufacturer I won’t name, but it proved to be absolutely awful. Staff would pull the alarm but sometimes nothing happened. The consequences were dreadful because, as a result of help not arriving, it would lead to our staff getting assaulted.

“We worked with the manufacturers for nearly three years as they tried and tried to make it work properly, but they just couldn’t do it.

“The safety of our staff and residents is paramount, so we realised we had to bite the bullet and scrap the system. We simply could not continue to have our staff and residents in danger. Our MD had seen the Pinpoint system in action previously, so we investigated it and found nothing but positive experiences reported by its many users.”

As background, Rachel explained that the care home’s mix of residents includes adults throughout the spectrum from older to younger. Their conditions range from autism and learning difficulties through to very complex needs and extremely challenging backgrounds. Sunnyborough accommodates 19 residents at any one time, and the level of behavioural difficulty demands staffing on a one-to-one basis.

Sunnyborough prides itself on providing a highly supportive environment for its residents; including making available a wide range of activities such as a music group, cookery, drama, football, bowling, information technology, rugby, swimming and even first-aid.

“Our aim is to provide a very stimulating, fulfilling life for our residents.

“These activities allow them to access high levels of functioning, and they provide meaningful occupation, which we find reduces the need for people to become challenging,” Rachel continued.

She went on to explain that the new Pinpoint Staff Personal

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