Addiction NI is an alcohol and drug treatment charity based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The charity provides tailor-made treatment programmes for people with drug or alcohol problems, delivered in community settings. They also give confidential support for people affected by someone else’s drinking or drug use.
Certain services offered by Addiction NI means their employees have situations where they have to work alone. The innovative “Older Focus” service is one of these areas where lone working occurs. Older Focus was developed to address the needs of older people with substance misuse problems. The outreach service provides treatment programmes being delivered in clients’ homes. The provision of domiciliary appointments was key to engaging with this client group but it brought with it the risk of lone working.
“Staff often work alone in the clients’ home and can operate several miles from their office base,” commented Alan Coleman, Project Manager at Addiction NI.
“In addition to the risk of physical and verbal abuse presented by clients who may be intoxicated, there is also the risk presented by others who may be in the home when staff call.”
With the increase in lone working visits, Addiction NI needed extra support to ensure the safety of their workers. Peoplesafe’s lone working app was chosen as the appropriate solution to ensure the safety of lone workers.
Using the lone worker mobile application provides the workers with an easy to use personal security service without the cost of purchasing additional devices. With the ability to log in and out of daily tasks and by having the ability to raise a SOS alarm should an issue occur where safety of the lone worker is compromised, Addiction NI are meeting their duty of care to their employees.
Addiction NI have found that implementing Peoplesafe has provided reassurance and peace of mind to their staff by allowing them to carry out their jobs with the knowledge that they have extra protection should they find themselves in a volatile environment where they are exposed to risk and their safety is compromised.
A further reassurance for Addiction NI’s staff is that if their session with a client exceeds the estimated duration of the activity that they logged, Peoplesafe will instigate an escalating response to check on their safety. Staff have reported that they feel valued by Addiction NI because of the organisation’s investment in their safety.
“Our managerial staff make full use of the Peoplesafe reports such as the monitoring reports allowing managers the ability to immediately pinpoint staff’s location in the event of an alarm being raised. Having the Peoplesafe service has been a significant selling point to our funders, as it demonstrates our commitment not only to staff safety but also to excellence.”