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News

Surveillance system protects Welsh hospital staff

ADT Fire And Security : 16 December, 2009  (Application Story)
In an effort to reduce incidences of unacceptable behaviour against hospital staff in Wales, the local government has funded a CCTV surveillance system for monitoring key areas and operating as a deterrent to potential offenders
ADT has launched a CCTV system to four Welsh hospitals as part of a pilot project to protect NHS staff in A&E departments, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

The pilot project addresses issues raised by a ministerial task force in early 2008 regarding the need to counter an increase in physical attacks on hospital workers. Latest figures for 2007-08 show that there were 7,343 incidents of violence against NHS staff, ranging from verbal abuse to serious physical assaults.

To allow highly secure monitoring in these potentially sensitive hospital areas, the CCTV and video surveillance systems were designed by using new and adapted technology within four A&E departments (including general areas and treatment rooms) at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil; Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport; West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen; and Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.

Muriel Runnalls, Public Sector Marketing Manager for ADT says: "Hospital settings amplify the complexity of installing CCTV and video surveillance in public spaces due to stringent data protection laws. As a result, our installation required advanced technical adaptations to protect patient privacy during examinations and treatment."

The solution was made possible by a bespoke system featuring special RAM (Random Access Memory) CCTV. In the event of an incident, a panic alarm is activated that triggers the footage to be committed to a hard-drive and continues to record the developments until it is instructed to cease. This recording can only be accessed by way of a series of highly secure access procedures and policies (as per NHS protocol) and can ultimately be passed on to the police as evidence, if required, to be used in any subsequent prosecution.

The activation of cameras and recording only occurs when a proven need is demonstrated, such as by the use of a panic button. The privacy of patients in other parts of the department is protected as the system only activates the camera(s) connected to each individual panic button.

ADT was awarded the contract following a competitive tendering process.
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