Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust provides community health, mental health, and learning disability services to 1.3 million people across Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk.
They employ 5,000+ staff across 200 sites and provide care in homes and community settings.
Front-line NHS staff on the patient-facing wards have experienced increasing levels of violence and aggression from service users, which creates a challenging and potentially unsafe working environment for many.
Although most hospitals have fixed CCTV in place, these cameras often do not provide the required coverage and video evidence to support prosecutions against abusive individuals, nor are they sufficient in providing an immediate visual deterrent.
To improve colleague safety, the Trust elected to deploy several WCCTV Body Worn Cameras following the conclusion of a successful proof of concept trial.
The cameras are supported by WCCTV’s Evidence Management Software (EMS) which electronically stores any videos and pictures captured by the cameras, allowing the NHS team to review the footage on demand.
Every incident attended is captured in crystal clear 1080p quality with accompanying audio evidence.
Due to the sensitive nature of the recordings, all footage is digitally encrypted to the highest protocols and password protected so only authorised personnel can access it.
Uniquely, WCCTV’s body cameras feature a 2.2” forward-facing screen, allowing the subject to see that a video recording is taking place. This has a proven and dramatic impact on influencing behavioural change, conflict management and mitigating aggressiveness towards staff.
To provide even greater flexibility in responding to fast-moving incidents, WCCTV’s Body Worn Cameras also have a pre-record buffer that captures up to 120 seconds of video before the record button has been pressed. This ensures incidents are seldom missed in the heat of the moment.
Finally, during the initial trial, WCCTV worked closely with the Trust to implement a 5-point break lanyard for the cameras to be worn on staff uniforms. This deployment solution reduced the risk of ligatures and provided a comfortable and stable mounting option.
The Result - Improved Personal Safety and Harm Reduction
The WCCTV Body Worn Cameras have proved invaluable in protecting ward staff who have far too frequently faced verbal threats and physical assault whilst performing their day-to-day duties.
In most cases, the front-facing screens on the Body Worn Cameras have been an incredibly effective deterrent to potential violence. In cases where the situation has continued to escalate, a full video evidence chain has been captured and used in prosecutions.
The Body Worn Cameras have protected staff from false allegations. At the same time, footage captured on the devices has also been instrumental in learning and development sessions on how situations could have potentially been handled differently.
Internal research by the Trust showed reduced assaults or physical harm on wards utilising the cameras. Staff have indicated they feel a significant level of safety and reassurance when wearing the cameras.
“WCCTV kept in constant contact with us throughout the initial trial of the cameras to ensure we had ongoing assistance and resolutions to any questions or concerns the Trust posed.
We have been very impressed with the fantastic support offered by the staff at WCCTV in setting up the equipment, providing training and delivering technical support; they are always on hand to assist.”
Nicola Miles, Security Management Specialist
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