The NHS, the biggest employer in the UK, employs a staggering 1,186,298 people.
Studies have shown that assaults on NHS staff are increasing year by year. According to NHS Protect, a total of 70,555 NHS staff were assaulted in 2015-2016 – up four percent on the previous year. It is important that healthcare staff feel safe in their working environment, so they can perform their jobs to the best of their ability.
Having a physical security plan in place, such as the use of CCTV cameras and security guards, will help to act as a deterrent, whilst allowing staff to feel safer in their workplace. It is also important to have a reporting system developed to deal with incidents in the right way.
Hospitals contain very expensive equipment, making it a target and an easy payday for thieves that can get their hands on it. Medicines are one of the most commonly stolen items within hospitals, with staff being the culprits in some cases.
Consider having security guards at the hospital entrance to monitor everybody who enters and leaves the building. Areas holding expensive equipment and medicines should be locked away with card access and alarm systems in place.
Hospitals should always have a strategic plan in place with regards to bomb and terrorist threats. During a time of high alert, where police authorities suspect the possibility of a threat, it is essential that staff know the correct procedure for dealing with an issue like this.
Precautions should be taken to any bomb threat such as: not allowing rubbish to accumulate on site, locking unused cupboards, rooms and buildings and keeping public areas clear of possible storage or hiding spaces.
If a bomb threat is received and the decision is made to evacuate the building, the following procedures should be considered:
• Leave doors and windows open where possible
• Leave lights on to assist future search
• Shut down any machinery where possible
Staff are often challenged to maintain a level of safety and comfort in a hospital – making it essential that everyone coming in and out of the building is accounted for. ID cards should be worn by staff at all times.
Some staff will be allowed access to areas others won’t be – all this should be made clear through the ID cards. Having an ID card system will prevent unknown or unwanted persons gaining access to areas they should not be, ultimately keeping staff and patients safe and equipment protected.
Research from the US found that insider misuse (any unapproved or malicious use of hospital resources) was the cause of 15 percent of security incidents in the healthcare industry. Worryingly, methods have been developed to infiltrate the healthcare system and gain access to patient information.
To combat this issue, a proper security plan would create an audit trail of the information and activity contained on hospital devices. This would track who has accessed what data, and when – making it much harder for people to access and misuse information.
Churchill Security is a trusted provider of professional security solutions. We supply comprehensive security packages to hospitals and other organisations in the the public sector.