Health Service Focus

08.08.17

Securing the health service with openness and transparency

Source: NHE Jul/Aug 2017

Mike Lees, head of business security at Barnsley Hospital NHS FT, talks to NHE about the organisation’s innovative approach to securing the trust’s estate.

From left to right: Lisa Corbridge, Trust LSMS; Mike Lees, head of business security; Dean Ellis, security site manager; and Peyton Needle, surveillance camera administrator

Barnsley Hospital NHS FT is a busy and large piece of real estate and has some 5,000 patients and visitors passing through its doors on a daily basis.

It is no different to many district hospitals in having a large mix of medical specialities, hectic theatre areas, wards with vulnerable, young and elderly patients, alongside a public mortuary and nuclear medicine department. Fold into this mix a limited budget with the need for flexible access for relatives, visitors, response teams, clinical staff, and many professional security managers would consider this a nightmare scenario. 

Over the last four years the hospital has adopted an incremental improvement strategy to security management, accepting valuable input from the local counter security management specialists and police crime reduction officer. The trust’s six-monthly security surveys are multiagency, layered and qualitatively-driven, with the Business Security Unit working innovatively to squeeze out every benefit from a financial background of harsh competing priorities. 

Over the past 12 months, the hospital has been the first to attain accreditation by the National Counter Terrorist Security Office for industry self-delivery of ‘Project Griffin’, and one of few to introduce a security officer training course for the use of body-worn video incorporating an NHS ethics programme into any activation of this equipment. The trust contracts its operational security to G4S Secure Solutions and acknowledges their support in being able to introduce body-worn video cameras and the continuing challenges this throws up in an acute hospital setting. The trust is also the only NHS body to be represented within the Security Institute and has a Chartered Security Professional on its staff. It is currently scoping the use of drones on site to support a number of operational aspects, two of these being security management and absconding or missing patients. 

To balance the daily use of surveillance technology, the trust understands there is a driving need to provide assurance to staff, patients, visitors and contractors that the cameras are being used in a legal, responsible and proportionate manner. The Business Security Unit acknowledged that a tangible, credible, indelible watermark was required that no amount of verbal or written reassurance or printed privacy notices could provide. 

Mike Lees, head of business security at the trust, said: “There will always be the cynics who believe, no matter what, that surveillance technology is there to spy on their every movement. The trust needed that independent marker that our priorities and the use of cameras is to keep patients and staff safe, but that we seek to do this in a balanced way. There was an added feeling that the recent introduction of body-worn video may have given more ammunition to those cynics.” 

Some three years ago the trust completely refitted the camera recording system selecting the UK company Tecton, and very recently equipped its G4S uniformed security staff with body-worn video cameras. The trust policies and procedures were updated accordingly, which included an active dialogue with emergency service and local authority colleagues. 

But Lees felt there was still the need to prove the balanced and open use of CCTV. This presented itself very clearly when he and local security management specialist Lisa Corbridge attended a national security conference at Chelsea in November last year. One of the keynote speakers at this event was Tony Porter, the surveillance camera commissioner. 

“It still sticks firmly in my mind that Tony Porter was fairly critical of the NHS in not responding to his challenge to adopt the surveillance camera code of practice,” Lees explained. “In saying that there was not, and still is not, a legal mandate for the NHS to take this national code forward. However, it did provide that driver the trust needed to demonstrate the responsible use of its surveillance assets.” 

Barnsley Hospital commenced using body-worn video cameras in December 2016 and, by February this year, the trust had completed the self-assessment tools to apply for third-party certification as a voluntary adopter of the code of practice. Following the initial assessment, the trust achieved 12 months’ accreditation and will be taking part in the independent audit to be able to use the commissioner’s certification mark for five years – showing the inward compliance with the code. 

The trust has also established a ‘Hospital Eyes’ strategy and corresponding public web page, which can be found under the ‘Openness & Transparency’ section of its website. This includes a list of trust cameras and locations, relevant policies, operational procedures, annual surveillance camera reports and monthly actions. It also includes an opportunity for patients and visitors to feedback or complain. 

The figures relating to violence and aggression to staff and anti-social behaviour seem to confirm that the strategy is working, with a 12% reduction in these incidents over the last year, and an 80% reduction over the 2016-17 Christmas period. 

“This is just the assurance process the trust had been seeking,” said Lees. “It shows, via an independent body, that the trust uses its surveillance assets legally and responsibly and gave us the opportunity to critically review the whole process. Every NHS body with CCTV and/or body-worn video should look to this as a standard.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

W: www.barnsleyhospital.nhs.uk

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Lung cancer operations reach record number as survival rates continue to rise

21/11/2017Lung cancer operations reach record number as survival rates continue to rise

A report today from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has revealed that a record 98.1% of patients survived after 30 days of lung cancer oper... more >
GP numbers drop by 1,000 over the last year as pressure and funding concerns increase

21/11/2017GP numbers drop by 1,000 over the last year as pressure and funding concerns increase

GP numbers have fallen by around 1,200 in the last year despite the government’s pledge in 2015 to bring in another 5,000 practitioners. ... more >
NHS overcharged over £34m for essential medicine

21/11/2017NHS overcharged over £34m for essential medicine

The NHS has been overcharged millions for an essential medication, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has declared. Last year the NHS ... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

Terry John, co-chair of the BMA & BDA Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group and chair of the union’s international committee, talks about a brilliant initiative that is proving mut... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

A new paradigm for public health

10/11/2017A new paradigm for public health

Heather Henry RN MBA, Queens nurse and chair of the New NHS Alliance looks into the issue of health inequality in the NHS. Health inequality is like the many-headed hydra of Greek mythology: no matter how many heads you cut off, the beast of rising illness is still coming to get you. It’s time to reconsider the weapons we use to slay the hydra. It´s time to think about whether we need new ones. Both academics and ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Make doing the right thing easy

11/10/2017Make doing the right thing easy

Kay Currie, professor of Nursing & Applied Healthcare Research, ‘Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention’ (SHIP) researc... more >
STAR: an innovative app for speech therapy

11/10/2017STAR: an innovative app for speech therapy

Dr Stuart Cunningham, a senior lecturer in Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield, on a new app set to support speech and la... more >
The value of health creation

11/10/2017The value of health creation

Dr Brian Fisher, vice chair of the New NHS Alliance, outlines the many benefits of investing in health creation. We live in one of the riche... more >
Developing a new type of think tank

11/10/2017Developing a new type of think tank

James Roach of the National Collaborative Group explains how the new and unique think tank is moving from rhetoric to action in order to help del... more >
A digital framework that works for the NHS

09/10/2017A digital framework that works for the NHS

In response to the ever-increasing opportunities to use innovative digital technology to carry out essential admin tasks, NHS Shared Business Ser... more >

interviews

Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >
Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

25/09/2017Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, knows that the health service is already a world leader when it comes to medical advances – ... more >
Improving care at the touch of a screen

08/08/2017Improving care at the touch of a screen

When it comes to dementia, having a calm and safe environment can have a substantial impact on a patient’s quality of life. NHE’s Jos... more >
A new approach to talent management

25/07/2017A new approach to talent management

Martin Hancock, national lead for talent management at NHS Leadership Academy, and Gill Rooke, the organisation’s senior operations manager... more >