Hospital security teams could start wearing body-worn video cameras on uniforms to record violent and threatening incidents. It follows a successful two-week trial of a body-worn camera by security workers at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
It is hoped the scheme could be rolled out across Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust within the next year.
A formal application will have to be put to the trust board for approval before the project can go ahead. Other trusts around the country have found using cameras has led to a 2,000 per cent increase in the number of prosecutions.
As well as helping to provide evidence for court cases, cameras can also act as a deterrent if people know they are being filmed.
Fixed CCTV cameras are already in use at the trust’s hospitals but the body cameras will be able to provide additional support. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals run the Royal Sussex, Sussex Eye Hospital, and Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton as well as the Princess Royal Hospital and Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath.
The number of violent incidents and verbal threats made against staff has more than halved in the past two years but the trust is continuing to work to bring the numbers down even further.
Most violent and aggressive incidents involve patients who cannot help their behaviour, such as those with serious mental health problems