CCTV & Body Worn Video – Have you thought about the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice?
The road to Surveillance Camera compliance and certification for Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust started in 2015 and driven by the need to revise and update our CCTV and security policies. There was an appetite to ensure to our staff, patients, visitors and contractors that the cameras were being used in a legal, responsible and proportionate manner. As security managers we also acknowledged a tangible, credible and indelible watermark was required that no amount of verbal or written reassurance or printed privacy notices could provide. The Trust needed that independent marker that our security priorities and the use of cameras is to keep patients and staff safe, but seek to do this in a balanced way. A further driver was the then impending roll-out of body worn video to be assigned to the uniform security team.
The opportunity to prove the balanced and open use of CCTV presented itself very clearly when the Trust security management team attended the NAHS annual conference at Chelsea in November 2016. The keynote speaker at this event was Tony Porter the Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales. Tony’s address was fairly critical of the NHS in not responding to his challenge to adopt the surveillance camera code of practice. There is no legal mandate for NHS organisations to take the national code forward but it provided the driver Barnsley Hospital required to demonstrate the responsible use of its surveillance assets. By February 2017 the self-assessment tools were completed and the following assessment by the SSAIB, there are also two other assessment bodies, full certification was awarded by the Commissioner for 5 years.
- On the bus stop with 2 buses per day
- On the now closed Post Office (recent closures of village post offices). The closure was the most exciting village event since Squire Puddlewick was caught chasing the milk maid in 1742
- On the graveyard of St Crispin’s Church – which 18 months ago had minor anti-social behaviour
- On the manhole cover in Trumpton Lane since the camera bracket slipped
About half a mile from the village boundary sits Puddlewick District Hospital comprising of 350 beds, 2,800 staff, 24/7 emergency department, local authority mortuary, pathology department, full and busy outpatients, imaging and nuclear medicine. The hospital has 12 security staff with body worn video, 180 CCTV cameras and has recently installed a state of the art ANPR system for car parking. As a local acute hospital it suffers spates of serious anti-social behaviour, crime, violence and aggression to staff and the site is considered an essential part of the critical national infrastructure. It is reliant on its surveillance assets for prevention, deterrence, staff and patient safety, evidence gathering and income carefully balancing the huge requirements of patient privacy and dignity, data protection, Caldecott guidance and staff assurance.
So let’s be slightly contentious. It seems to defy all logic that the parish council is considered a Relevant Authority and as such must comply with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and guiding principles yet the hospital with all its diverse surveillance assets does not. If as NHS security managers we are committed to providing the best, most professional service alongside protecting our staff and patients, then these discussions and this example require referencing in all forums with support and coordination from a national level. With the increased focus on protecting our staff from all forms of violence and aggression alongside the well reported instances of knife crime, surveillance, although not the universal panacea, is key to any reduction and safety strategies. The CPS has agreed that in respect of the provision of video evidence any compliance could now be subject of disclosure.
- Ownership of any surveillance data now and into the future?
- Cost of maintenance and future additions to the system
- How effective and professional are the personnel monitoring the system
- Could services be amalgamated or co-located with other monitoring systems
- Procurement and understanding of specifications and standards
- How effective is any system and how is it measured? What is the economic case?
Compliance is not difficult or expensive and advice has been provided to a number NHS security managers who are seriously considering or currently submitting self assessment. The process has been hugely advantageous for Barnsley Hospital and we would encourage NAHS colleagues to consider adopting the code and embedding into their local policies and procedures.
All opinions and views contained in this article are not those of the NHS, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Surveillance Camera Commissioner or NAHS and are entirely those of the author. It also goes without saying that Little Puddlewick and the Puddlewick Hospital are fictitious locations. The author (Mike Lees) leads the Voluntary Adopter Strand of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy and would appreciate any support from NHS colleagues who are interested in becoming involved.
SECURITY INSTITUTE ELECTION
#NAHS19 Annual Conference and Awards
A reminder that our Annual Conference will take place on Thursday 14th November 2019 at The Studio Birmingham on the 3rd and 4th Floors and so we will have a lot more room for networking and for you to engage with our exhibitors.
The deadline is approaching for Early Bird tickets for £12.50 which are on sale until the end of this month – 31st April. Tickets will then revert to the full price of £25.00.
Our Event Organisers, AllSecurityEvents are happy to discuss opportunities for exhibitors and would welcome members signposting potential exhibitors to make contact with them. We have already secured the support of Paxton Access and look forward to updating members on our progress in future editions of this newsletter.
We would also welcome suggestions on topics or any specific forum discussions or workshops you would like to see at Conference. Please email email@example.com ensuring to mark the email #NAHS19 Conference.
We previously advised members that we were launching a number of new Corporate Membership packages with differing access levels. After much deliberation, the Executive Committee have reverted to a single Corporate Partner level, further details will be circulated in the forthcoming newsletters and on the website. As Neil Shanks, our Membership Officer has had to resign from the Executive Committee, John Currie is currently covering this as well as our social media and is processing all membership requests. We would like to thank Neil for his hard work on the strategic plan and our membership system and wish him well in his future endeavours.
As a standing feature, we want to take this opportunity to remind members to review and update your personal profile on the website. Your registered email address will be your user name but if you are having problems, please click on the Forgotten Password link to request a reset. The Group function and discussion forums are there for you to use and are really easy to set up.
We will continue to send out regular update bulletins and quarterly Membership newsletters where we will feature specialist articles, special interest stories and updates on the work of the NAHS Team.
We welcome contributions from members and ask that you send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org