Members Newsletter March 2019

Welcome to the March edition of our official monthly mailshot / newsletters.  In this issue, we discuss Mental Health which is a subject most if not all Accredited Security Management Specialists and Healthcare Security officers have dealings with at some point in their working day / week.  This article addresses some of the more problematic areas that those working in the acute sector face.  These include Section 136 Mental Health Act (MHA), voluntary attendances and Police interventions, the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and the issues surrounding restraint and use of reasonable force.
All members are reminded that we have a number of Group discussions on our website, including one on Mental Health so please login and participate as this is the ideal place to continue this very important discussion.
We also feature some stellar winners this month as it was the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) recently
NAHS are pleased to be one of the official supporters of The Security Event which is taking place at the NEC in April.  Don’t forget to book your tickets and claim your free parking in the section below.

The Legal and Operational Issues we face dealing with Mental Health

Mental Health presentations at Accident and Emergency departments (ED) have increased for a varying number of reasons, however, it should be noted that this article clearly cannot address or cover each and every item or area and only scratches the surface.

In 2017, the MHA was changed to reduce the time a person detained under S136 could be held for assessment; the changes reduced this time from 72 hours to 24 hours and ‘opened’ up the ED as a place for S136 assessments to take place. This clearly poses a challenge to the assessing team and the ED staff who may have to accept a S136 patient from Police into a very busy, noisy and chaotic department. It is worth mentioning the case of Webley vs St George’s Hospital NHS Trust and the Metropolitan Police as this identified safety failings on the part of the Trust and in particular the Security team tasked with monitoring the patient whilst in the ED. A specific blog on the subject can be found on our website and guidance originally issued by NHS England in October 2017 can be accessed here.

Another issue that has arisen and which many colleagues report experiencing is the Voluntary presentation at the ED of a person in mental health crisis. This in itself is not the problem, it is those ‘Voluntary’ patients who are brought to the ED in handcuffs, legstraps and accompanied by anywhere between 6 and 12 Police officers that pose the issues for staff. Our members have reported challenging Police Officers on this, especially when the person in crisis is handed over to the ED to manage and Police leave as the person is now calm. This creates a number of issues which we cannot fully address in this newsletter but we would suggest that the conversation continue in our mental health group discussion on the NAHS website. The first and most important issue, is the undeniable fact that a person brought to an ED in handcuffs, leg straps and in Police restraint is not in any sense of the word a voluntary attender. If the person posed a physical risk to Police, themselves or others and there were clear indicators to suggest a mental health issue, the person should have been detained under S136 and taken to an appropriate place of safety as per local and mental health protocols. The second issue that must be considered is that of the Trust’s responsibility for their staff and patient safety and the ability of the security team to support this. Accepting responsibility for a person who has been in handcuffs, leg straps and restrained or even just accompanied by 6 Police officers is an indicator of a previous safety and risk concern on the part of the Police. Whatever the course of action, a detailed risk handover must always be completed with Police and a judgement made by the receiving staff / Nurse in Charge regarding the suitability of the location and safety of staff and patients and the individual themselves.

The next topic for discussion is the use of force and the use of restraint by Healthcare Security staff. As mentioned earlier, our website has a specific blog on this very issue which you may find of interest.

The use of appropriate and proportionate force to effect a restraint are basics that all Security Officers are taught, however, as we all know, unless it is practiced and evaluated regularly, bad and sometimes unsafe practices can creep in. There are a number of Control and Restraint approaches and practices available such as PMVA, PAMOVA, C&R and MAYBO techniques with many being tailored and made bespoke for the particular sector or service. A good example is the difference between methods and techniques used in Forensic Mental Health services and those taught and utilised in Acute (non Mental Health) Hospitals. In short, Security Officers are permitted and expected to appropriately restrain patients detained under the MHA as the Trust is legally responsible for their care. This includes those under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), however, the most common grounds for implementing a restraint outside a mental health unit is under Common Law or the MCA.

Mental Capacity Act – Many patients in general hospitals may lack capacity to make decisions about investigations such as blood tests or scans, treatments, and whether to remain in hospital due to their physical or mental illness (or both). Where a person lacks capacity, it may be necessary for the Healthcare provider to step in and prevent the patient from coming to any harm or harming others. this therefore, may result in the use of an appropriate and proportionate use of force. Further guidance on the MCA is available here.

On a final note, physical restraint is a Healthcare Security professional’s last option and where possible should be avoided. NAHS are committed to raising awareness and reducing the need and frequency of restraint and fully support the least restrictive intervention.

The Security Event 2019
The National Association for Healthcare Security are pleased to be officially supporting The Security Event, the brand-new UK exhibition held on the 9-11 April 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham. The organisers are offering free tickets to our members and it would be great to see you there.
The Security Event, created for the commercial and residential security market, is a free-to-attend event giving you access to three days of world-class education and training, over 100 of the industry’s market leaders and the opportunity to network with your colleagues.
Register free today for your free visitor badge and you’ll also receive a free parking allocation (worth £16!).
  • Free to attend and co-located with 3 other leading industry leading events, 1 pass – 4 events!
  • Over 100 leading global security companies exhibiting including 10 Founding Partners
    • Exclusive product launches and demos
  • Win an Ultimate Driving Experience- Register to attend and recommend a colleague to join you for the chance win this fantastic prize.
  • Tailored education programme – All innovative seminars & interactive workshops are free and CPD certified providing you with CPD points across 3 days
    • Innovation theatre
    • Security in Practice Theatre
    • Linx International Educational Theatre
  • Networking Drinks Reception- open to all at the end of Day 2 providing the ideal opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, meet new suppliers and extend your reach to a wider audience.

Claim your free visitor badge

The Security Event 2019

Success for NAHS Members at the OSPAs

Mike and Lisa at the OSPA
Lisa Corbridge and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were both nominated for awards at this year’s Outstanding Security Performance Awards (The OSPAs).  Lisa won the Outstanding Security Manager category whilst the Trust picked up the Outstanding Customer Service Initiative for Project Dixon.  The Trust’s award was collected by Mike Lees, who is also one of our Executive Directors.
We would like to add our own congratulations and a very special mention for Lisa who is a triple award winner!.  She won at the OSPAs, she was awarded our very own NAHS Chairman’s Award and won the Women in Security award.

#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 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 ensuring to mark the email #NAHS19 Conference.

Website members portal – Please 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