Hope House Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospices provide care for babies, children, young people and young adults up to the age of 25 years who have life-threatening conditions and are not expected to live beyond 25 years of age. We also offer counselling and bereavement support to any family living in our area who is affected by the death of a child in any circumstance. Our help is
available to children and families living in Shropshire, Cheshire, Mid and North Wales. We support more than 750 local families who are either caring for a terminally ill child, or whose child has died by providing a range of services including respite care, counselling and bereavement support, antenatal and neonatal support, social work, sibling support, end of life care, care for young adults and immediate care after death.
What were the key drivers that led you to look for a location-based solution?
Our employees frequently have to travel long distances across mountainous and remote terrain, and often where there is poor mobile phone signal. Having a GPS tracker to quickly direct emergency services in event of accident or breakdown is important, especially in winter where time is of the essence. On the rare occasions where we have had a false alarm, the geo-location has proven very accurate – to the exact house or building.
What were the factors that led you to choose TrackaPhone as your solution provider?
We have a corporate policy that our organisation does not track our own employees directly. Using a third party to track the staff enabled us to get the service we need in an emergency but maintains employee and client privacy. We had tried a variety of other devices previously, but our staff feedback was that they wanted something working through their phones as:
- they always had their phone with them
- the phones are always charged and working, and
- it is very discreet, so not obvious to clients that an alarm system is being used.
Previously, staff regarded it as a nuisance to have to remember to charge another separate device, and frequently forgot, causing loss of cover. TrackaPhone’s app provided all the features we sought but allowed us to disable the features we didn’t need, such as the man-down alert.
What considerations or challenges did the project uncover and how did you overcome them?
Some of our staff were less familiar with the operation of their smartphones and needed assistance from TrackaPhone customer service to get the app set up and running. We have always enjoyed excellent prompt support. We are gradually expanding the number of staff using the app as managers become more convinced of the value of it. The continuously communicating app does use more phone battery so users have become familiar with the need to charge daily.
How has the TrackaPhone service benefited you or your organisation?
We have saved a huge amount of staff time and cost by removing the need for lone workers to call into their base to log all their movements. This includes an enormous number of man hours for both the lone worker and the reception staff taking the calls – and freed up the phone lines for more productive use. It has enabled us to reduce the monitoring that went into continuously checking on our highest risk staff. Frequently if a lone worker simply forgot to call in, other staff would spend considerable time and effort trying to find them.
What has been the main impact on users of the TrackaPhone service?
Employees no longer have the responsibility of continually remembering to phone into their base to log in. The app has liberated a lot of time for them. The individuals get comfort from knowing they have the red and amber alerts available to them, and their geo-location to give to others to find them, such as the AA. Although we have never used it, they also know they can call the centre to
make use of the ‘walk me past a threat’ service.
How well was the service received by end users?
Initially they found it hard to remember to use the new system, but after a short while the TrackaPhone service is now taken for granted. The out-of-hours users prefer the notion that they are being safeguarded and responded to by dedicated 24/7 staff in an emergency centre, rather than other nursing staff on a busy shift in a hospice. It gives them reassurance that they will get a
prompt response if they hit difficulty.
How would you summarise the service as a whole?
“TrackaPhone provides a simple, easy to use and ever-present solution for our highest risk lone workers. Our staff prefer the intuitive nature of the TrackaPhone App to other devices we have used previously. The geolocating facility is particularly important for our nurses in event of a breakdown when driving through remote mountainous areas. We have always received excellent customer service from TrackaPhone.” Andrew Newlove