West Suffolk Hospital in England has issued panic alarms to its staff in a bid to keep them safe while visiting patients away from its premises.

The alarm, which is the size of an ID card, is being issued to community dieticians and midwifery staff among others.

Staff will be able to use the device to inform a call centre about their arrival at an off-site location, and to confirm when they have left it.

If they don’t report leaving the location, call centre staff will try to reach the staff member directly, before contacting the police.

The device can also be used to let call centre staff listen in to conversations with the patient in difficult situations, which can be used as an evidence in court.

If a staff member repeats an agreed trigger word to indicate that they are in a difficult situation, the police will be alerted and dispatched.