Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

B-Cam Body Worn Cameras are used in all kinds of scenarios, and by very different companies and sectors. From football clubs and shopping centres to even bin men and dog walkers, B-Cam devices provide reassurance in numerous situations. Some of our most high-profile hospitals use B-Cam bodycams, including the security team at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Sadly, reported assaults against NHS staff are on the rise, yet criminal convictions are low.  For 2015/16, NHS staff in England reported assaults on more than 70,000 occasions, accounting for 53 assaults per 1,000 workers.  Staggeringly, criminal sanctions were brought on only 1,740 occasions.  Many of our healthcare trusts have simply had enough, and have turned to technology that provides a huge helping hand.

Security guards at the hospitals wear B-Cam devices in an effort to reduce abuse and violent behaviour from patients.  These Body Worn Cameras act as a visible deterrent to those who may cause harm, and they’re a trusted source of evidence should any incident occur.  With reported assaults up by around 5 percent year on year in England, Trusts are doing what they can to improve the safety of employees, and, ultimately, patients.

At Guy’s and St Thomas’, staff had seen a surge in violent behaviour, particularly towards nurses and other frontline staff.  Between April and September 2016, a total of 850 incidents were recorded.  This was up 27 percent on the same period in 2015, where 620 were recorded.

One of the team members there said: “We have used the footage from B-Cam to address complaints and false allegations.  A lot of the footage can be a very useful training tool.  We use incident footage to learn from incidents and agree on a better way to manage similar incidents in the future”.

The cameras being used by security personnel there only operate when activated, therefore not inappropriately recording personal and protected data.  Once activated, a light on the camera ensures those being filmed are also aware that recording is taking place.  The B-Cam devices used by Guy’s and St Thomas’ have a tamperproof design, meaning data can’t be removed from the device, nor can the unit be easily destroyed, thereby protecting the chain of evidence, and also meaning any patient or service user information that is recorded is secure and inaccessible without the relevant B-Cam software to download the video and audio recordings.

Another team member there said: “We will recommend B-Cam to other services users because of (the cameras’) reliability, evidence based footage and assurance they provide to staff who use them, as well as staff who are witnesses to any incidents that are being recorded by the security team.  They also give observers the confidence that no actions are hidden or illegally carried out against any aggressive or abusive person”.

Jayne King, Head of Security and Site Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have taken this step to assure our staff of their safety and to send the message to people who are violent or abusive on Trust premises that these recordings will be used to bring them to justice”.

As Chief Nurse Dame Eileen Sills puts it: “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.  Please let them do their jobs safely”.