Norwich City College in student safety boost

The safety of more than 14,000 Norwich students is to be given a boost as part of a pioneering scheme in which staff and the emergency services can gain quick and easy access to their medical records and contact details in the wake of an accident or emergency.

City College Norwich students are being encouraged to sign up to the scheme when the new team begins next month.

It is aimed at making sure that in the event of an accident either at college, on a trip, or even while out and about in the evening, police and medical staff will have quick access to any important medical information while their parents can also be immediately informed.

From the new term, students will be able to register online their medical/allergy conditions, crisis plans, medication and where it is kept and emergency contacts for next-of-kin and family.

The registration produces an Emergency ID card for each person with the member ID for each person, a photograph of the member and the telephone number for the 24/7 Support Team based in Peterborough.

On top of that, medical and emergency contact details can be printed and carried by the student or provided to college staff.

The scheme has been made possible after the college teamed up with East Tuddenham-based firm Alert ID Group Ltd.

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Dick Palmer, college principal, said it had already conducted a number of very successful trials with the system and was also keen to stress the benefits to other FE colleges across the country.

But he also stressed that the college had considered data protection issues before pressing ahead with the tie-up.

'The Alert ID service offers the college real benefits - giving both staff and family members the assurance that, should a problem arise at anytime, the safety and wellbeing of the student(s) concerned is protected and enhanced,' he said. 'Having the knowledge that the administrative aspect of any situation is totally under control gives our staff the leeway to concentrate solely on situation in-hand and on the students' wellbeing.

'Alert ID is just one of the truly ground breaking 21st Century Systems that the College is utilising. Our students' welfare and their families' peace of mind is of paramount importance to us.'

Alert ID managing director Andy Keats, said while the firm already offers a range of products for families, pet owners, as well as sportsmen and women in a pertnership with former athlete Steve Cram, City College was the first higher educational institute to sign up.

'With 14,500 students that's quite considerable,' Mr Keats said. 'Dick Palmer was very taken by what we are doing, and nobody else is doing anything like this. Normally when you go on a trip you have to fill in a form providing medical details and next of kin contacts.

'We have provided an online solution for that. There is a 24-hour support service for the student and staff if there is a problem. All the information is there at the touch of a button. On top of that there is an emergency ID card to keep and carry around in your pocket or on a lanyard.

'If need be we can also contact parents and tell them what's going on. If we can't get in touch we will keep trying until we do.

'The onus is on the student to keep their records up to date,' he added. 'We have all the medical details about the person - the reason for that is we are able to give out the medical side of things. If something changes in their medication, they update it.'

Mr Keats also revealed that Langley School, in Loddon, near Norwich was also signing up to the scheme, while the firm was also launching a Travel ID scheme for holiday makers booking through Travel Lounge, based in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, and Wymondham, and for learning drivers booking sessions with Vince's School of Motoring in the city.

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