Security staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust are being given body cameras after attacks on nurses and other frontline workers increased by nearly a third in the last year.
It will now issue body cameras to some of its security staff as part of a six-month trial. Footage from the cameras can be used in court to help secure a criminal conviction.
“Any unprovoked violence and aggression towards staff is unacceptable”
The trial forms part of a trust campaign, backed by the Metropolitan Police, to reduce violent and abusive behaviour and increase staff awareness of the support available to them.
The trust’s new Keep our staff safe campaign also includes posters in hospitals and community sites using anonymised real stories of staff who have been attacked or abused.
Additionally, it includes an updated policy on managing challenging behaviour by patients and visitors, a new training film for staff, new training courses in conflict resolution and work with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust on bespoke training for community staff.
From April to September 2016, there were 850 recorded incidents compared to 620 in the same period last year – up by 27%, said the trust.
In addition, in the six months from April to September, 75 arrests were made – up from 30 in the same period last year.
The trust highlighted that 26 patients had been excluded from the trust except for emergency treatment – up from seven last year – and 130 behaviour contracts had been issued, compared to 70 the previous year.
Trust chief nurse Dame Eileen Sills said: “At times our staff and patients have felt threatened and intimidated by a small number of patients and visitors and we want to send a clear message to people that our staff are here for them.
“We will also be training our staff to identify patients at risk of developing challenging behaviour for clinical reasons so that the appropriate support and interventions can be given to prevent them from harming themselves or others,” she said.
She added: “Any unprovoked violence and aggression towards staff is unacceptable. If people do abuse our staff we will take robust action and pursue them through the courts if necessary.”