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When the going gets tough…

May 20, 2024 by Chris Allcard

Despite the challenging times we’re experiencing at the moment, it’s been a busy but productive few weeks at Reliance Protect, as Chris Allcard, the company’s lone worker services director, explains.

Due to our ongoing commitment to supporting the nation’s mobile key workers safe, Reliance Protect decided during the early stages of lockdown that we would continue with our commitment to developing and launching new innovations whilst maintaining business as usual.

Welfare state

This approach has been particularly important given that we currently support upwards of 40,000 people through a number of NHS Lone Worker Frameworks – the latest one having just been extended until late 2022. The vital role that the NHS and wider public sector has performed during this crisis is well recognised and we are honoured to be able to offer these brave individuals our full lone worker safety product and service range. Reliance Protect’s involvement with the NHS goes back to 2009 when we won the original NHS Lone Worker Framework and we currently have over 300 contracts with NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, Social Housing Providers and Charities across the UK, providing staff with immediate back-up and support in the event they experience a verbal or physical threat during their working days.

It is widely acknowledged that front line staff within these sectors face increased risks and are subjected to alarmingly high levels of assaults and abuse. Our current Frameworks make procurement of our market leading solutions a simple, quick and efficient process. Just as importantly, as we upgrade our services and adopt new technologies, public sector organisations are able to immediately access these through these Frameworks. A great example of this is our recently launched range of Body Worn Cameras with options around live video streaming and incident handling.

Finger on the pulse

Focus, our online customer portal, has recently been enhanced with the launch of our upgraded management information reporting tool. This powerful, feature rich and secure online tool allows customers to view data in real time, create and export charts and graphs, and develop regular automated reporting schedules. This information can then be used to identify trends, monitor device usage and user status, and provide insights that help manage lone working staff risks more effectively.

The ability to simplify and accelerate a broad range of administration tasks puts a customer in full control of the services we deliver, maximising staff and device utilisation rates and keeping them safe while providing value for money and return on investment throughout the life of a contract. Information security is at the heart of everything we do. Security of customer data accessible via Focus is assured as it sits within our ISO27001 Information Security Management accreditation. Using Focus also helps customers maintain security of their staff data and GDPR data handling and management processes.  There’s no need to send staff personal information to us via email or electronic forms or over the phone.  Authorised users can access the data directly and make changes instantly on our systems.  Certain personal data is only viewable and editable by the device users themselves.  All automated scheduled reports via the new Management Information tool are accessed via hyperlinks in the portal, the reports themselves are not emailed out.

Badge of honour

Reliance Protect aims for continual improvement in all areas of our business and even though our ID Badge has become one of the most popular lone worker personal safety devices in the UK (we have deployed upwards of 100,000 units since 2009), we knew that we could make it even better. The result of this is ID Ultra, which offers a wealth of innovative features that are designed to help protect individuals at risk of aggression from others or hazards in their working environments.

ID Ultra boasts an industry first with dual location technologies. Utilising both GPS and Wi-Fi – the former to identify the user’s location when they are outside, and the latter helping to locate them when they are indoors – users can be swiftly located wherever they are. Lightweight but reliable and robust, it is also dust and water resistant to IP67 and has an extended battery life of around  four days. Future proofing is taken care of with the inclusion of Bluetooth.  Designed with the user in mind following extensive customer feedback, those already familiar with ID Badge will find migration to ID Ultra incredibly straightforward.

Pushing the boundaries

As we begin to emerge from one of the most difficult times in our modern history, companies need to be able to react quickly to the needs of their customers and continue to innovate. With ID Badge Ultra and Focus, Reliance Protect has once again demonstrated its commitment to lone worker protection, as well as making sure that critical workers throughout the UK remain safe while they go about their day-to-day activities.