Midwives safer on urgent calls
MIDWIVES at West Suffolk Hospital should be safer when they are out on the roads because of a new safety scheme.Their normal mobile phones will now be linked to a computer system which inputs where they are going and the route.
MIDWIVES at West Suffolk Hospital should be safer when they are out on the roads because of a new safety scheme.
Their normal mobile phones will now be linked to a computer system which inputs where they are going and the route.
If anything should happen the system automatically calls for back up and gives details of where the member of staff is.
Recent figures from the Royal College of Nurses show that one in three nurses have experienced some form of harassment or assault in the last twelve months and the pilot scheme was designed to tackle the problem.
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The trust is one of the first acute NHS trusts to pilot the new Look Out call service.
Within the next two months, all community midwives working for the Trust will use the system.
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The midwives use their mobile phones to update a computer system with their status (e.g. starting a 60 minute appointment visit) and leave a spoken message with their location details.
If a midwife then fails to send another update within a certain time limit, the computer will check for false alarms by sending text messages. If they do not respond to these messages, team leaders or managers are contacted, and if necessary the police are made aware of the situation.
The phone can also be used by midwives in emergency situations. By pressing a single button, the phone automatically speed dials through to the police.
Sheila Cornwell, Midwifery Manager, is very positive about the impact of the Look Out call service.
"Midwives are lone workers and can find themselves in vulnerable situations," she said. "This system reduces that vulnerability and risk of attack.
"Our first duty is to our women, but staff safety is also of paramount importance. This initiative shows a great deal of commitment from the West Suffolk Hospital, and it makes us feel safer to know that our personal security is a priority."