News

Body cameras record abuse towards hospital staff across the country

02-05-2018

This piece was originally published here

Aneurin Bevan, Wales, is the latest hospital to give security staff body cameras after 15,113 incidents in the last five years.

An A&E nurse, who did not want to be identified, said he received threats and verbal abuse on an "almost weekly basis".

"Physically it is not that bad, but it is always a threat. The people using abusive language are often under the influence of a substance, or have behavioural issues.

"We try to talk to them and treat them as someone who is distressed. We try to calm the situation. It doesn't always work."

The nurse said he had once been grabbed around the throat by a patient who was cautioned by the police - he was later was diagnosed with mental health issues.

"The security guys do wear body cams. It helps because it means it's no longer just our word. They can allege we were rough, but this goes some way to backing up what we said."

Head of security, Damian Winstone, said the cameras were more effective than traditional CCTV and had led to successful convictions for a range of offences.

"The use of body cameras is improving how patients, staff and visitors conduct themselves," he said.

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are using Reveal body cameras to tackle antisocial behaviour and aggression towards staff within the hospital.

Head of Business Security, Mike Lees said “The body cameras really come into their own when our officers or nursing staff face threats, aggression, finger pointing and swearing face to face with no contact.

“Statistically, over the last few Christmas periods that we’ve gone back and had a look, I can say we have reduced violence and aggression issues towards staff by just over 80%.

“Providing that the package is put together well, I would have no hesitation in recommending what we’ve done and the format of cameras that we use to anybody.”

On Friday, legislation introduced by Rhondda MP Chris Bryant to impose harsher prison sentences on those who attack 999 workers, passed a major hurdle in the bid to become UK law.

Click here to learn more about Reveal body cameras