News

Reveal Body Cameras Support NHS Staff

06-03-2017

Reveal body cameras are now being used by security personnel in NHS hospitals to support staff and keep them safe in the workplace.

In 2012, Barnsley Hospital, Southampton General Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham were among the UK hospitals to pilot body worn video, as a measure against violence towards staff. The NHS Protect Publication recorded over 60,000 assault incidents on NHS staff during the year 2012-2013, and the problem increased in the year 2013-2014 where assault incidents against NHS staff rose by 8%.

This increase prompted the NHS to look to body worn video to reduce the number of violent incidents within the hospitals.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital trialled Reveal cameras as part of the Balfour Beatty Zero Harm initiative, which came after a high level of violence and abuse towards NHS staff was recognised.

Reveal body cameras are now used to deter attacks against staff and record evidential footage in the case that a situation escalates and a member of staff is verbally or physically abused.

Reveal’s body worn video aims to reduce the number of abusive incidents encountered by NHS staff, erasing the idea that it could be ‘part of the job’ or simply an occupational hazard. While NHS staff must deal with some precarious situations, whether related to intoxication, mental illness, emotional turmoil or any other issue, these instances should not involve violence or aggression.

In The Queen Elizabeth, Barnsley and Southampton hospitals, Reveal body cameras are currently concentrated in areas such as A+E, where the most hostile situations usually occur. The NHS reports that over a 5-year period, 2010-2014, there were 4,753 attacks in the Acute Sector (short-term care), of which 2,180 were not aggravated by any identifiable factor.

The body camera works to firstly de-escalate situations that pose a threat to either the body worn video user or member of the public. Reveal’s RS2-X2 camera uses a front-facing screen to aid de-escalation, acting as a mirror. The mirror effect has dramatically calmed hostile persons in all kinds of situations, bringing an awareness of behaviour and potential consequences of such behaviour to light, by recording and displaying the events in real time.

Failing to make the member of the public aware of their inappropriate behaviour, the body camera documents the event. This helps to identify suspects and aggressive persons, especially in terms of repeat offenders, which may be relevant to a hospital due to patients with ongoing problems.

By recording offenders, security personnel can successfully identify them and attain a log of their appearance, such as CCTV offers. This means that staff can provision correctly the next time that the offender visits the premises, and generally enables staff to gain relevant information of a potentially dangerous people or person’s history, and avoid an altercation by approaching the situation prepared.

The body camera protects staff by ensuring that they enter situations with as much knowledge as possible.

In the case that there is a criminal offence against a member of staff, the footage can be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

Andrew Clark, Head of Security at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, reported an instance during the pilot where a Reveal body camera protected a member of NHS security against a false claim and successfully documented an aggressive incident.

The incident occurred during a Sunday night when the security personnel were notified by the emergency department of a woman who was refusing to leave the premises after being discharged. Three security officers were deployed, and one officer was equipped with a Reveal body camera.

The woman refused to leave the premise, and demanded prescription drugs. She continued to be verbally abusive towards the staff, and was advised of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and sections 119 and 120 (a provision given to staff and police working in the NHS to remove and prosecute members of the public causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises). The woman was accompanied by her brother, who after being advised by security officers, attempted to reason with the her.

The woman had a history of making false allegations and so the security officer activated the Reveal body camera. The female was advised the body worn video device was in action and was physically assisted into a waiting wheelchair and out of the main department. When the woman was directed to exit the wheelchair, once off the hospital grounds, she unleashed another verbal attack against the security officers.

Due to her lack of response to the request and profane language, she was guided out of the chair, but threw herself to the ground.

The security controller was then requested to contact West Midlands Police due to the general nuisance, however the woman and her brother left the site before the police attended.

Body worn video was able to document the event accurately and support the staff present by increasing their accountability and justifying their actions. The footage from the body camera could accurately depict the woman’s demeanour, and protected the staff from any false allegation that could’ve potentially arisen.

Andrew Clark commented on the body worn video trial: "In summary the scheme has proved to be undoubtedly successful in assisting security personnel in dealing with aggressive incidents/individuals with the footage potentially being used for evidential purposes."

"We all personally endorse the continued use of the body worn camera.”

To request a demo of Reveal’s body worn video please click here.