Security for Hospitals: Caring for Healthcare
Opened by Her Majesty the Queen in June 2012 as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Western Health and Social Care Trust's South West Acute Hospital is a brand new, state of the art development located north of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. Fire and security integrator BPS was awarded a contract by NIHG to install the CCTV security system. It recognized the risks associated with such a complex installation comprising multiple facilities and thousands of people to monitor and protect and proposed the use of the latest security technology.
Spanning 52 acres (21 hectares) and costing GBP270 million, the hospital was constructed to deliver a wide range of services including acute medicine, day and elective surgery, critical care, accident and emergency services, and consultant-led maternity services. The facility offers the most modern clinical practices using the latest technologies that enhance patient care and is Northern Ireland's first to provide 100% single en-suite room accommodation. The project was managed by the Northern Ireland Health Care Group (NIHG) in partnership with FCC Elliott and Interserve FM who are responsible for providing facilities management services.
The site includes the main hospital building as well as staff/key worker accommodation and 11 car parking areas, all of which required monitoring by a robust, reliable and flexible security solution to safeguard patients, visitors and staff. Providing a safe and secure environment was a key priority, and led the NIHG to require an integrated security system with CCTV monitoring that was tried and trusted and able to meet the complex security requirements of this state of the art facility. The solution specified required integrated digital video recording and CCTV (IP and analog cameras) monitoring.
"We selected Honeywell's video recording and monitoring solutions due to our familiarity with the extensive and versatile product range that they offer and, having installed Honeywell equipment for a number of years, we were confident that the proposed solution would match the performance specification of this particular project," explains Clive Kinnear, Senior Manager Security Systems, BPS.
An important consideration was that the system could be expanded to meet future demands and the CCTV system has the capacity for additional functionality, ensuring that expansion requirements can be addressed in a cost-effective manner.
The company secured its bid by presenting the capabilities of this CCTV system in a comparable environment, giving the NIHG the confidence that it would provide the optimum solution. "BPS's ability to show us a live demonstration of an actual system operating in a hospital environment, combined with their extensive experience of working on similar projects, reassured us that they truly understood the intricacies of the project and would deliver a first-class solution, providing safety and security for everyone using the facilities," said Keith Abel, General Manager at NIHG.
Providing security across the most vulnerable areas of the complex was an important element of the project. BPS were confident that CCTV monitoring would not only act as a deterrent against theft or assault but also provide reassurance to those people using the facilities that they are in a safe and secure environment. The installed solution has over 300 cameras, a combination of Honeywell Pan Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) and vandal resistant fixed domes with true day/night capabilities as well as 22 HRDP digital video recorders (DVRs) installed across the facility to protect key areas. The manufacturer's own Maxpro matrix was also installed to allow security operators to manage this multifaceted security system and monitor visitor, staff and patient traffic throughout the hospital as well as the surrounding grounds.
On the Button
Although security was paramount across the whole facility, three areas in particular warranted special attention: the accident and emergency area, the car park and some remote outside areas as well as the staff and worker accommodation. The safety and security of staff, patients and visitors using the hospital is of paramount importance. PTZ domes provide detailed surveillance in the Accident and Emergency Department and clear, detailed images can be retrieved should an incident occur. They also act as a preventative measure and early warning system, so that major incidents can be quickly intercepted and diffused. Honeywell HRDP DVRs ensure that all events can be accurately recorded and stored, easily accessed and used as evidence if required in the event of a security breach or a health and safety incident.
A number of 'Help Point' buttons were installed around the site providing additional security. Linked to the Maxpro matrix, on activation these buttons trigger the nearest PTZ cameras to rotate into preset positions that give immediate views of the surrounding area from different angles. Security staff can then manually control the cameras, allowing them to provide timely and appropriate action to potentially high-risk situations.
On Call 24/7
The staff and worker accommodation is a high traffic area with people coming and going around the clock and it was vital that the chosen CCTV system would suit this environment. Honeywell's indoor mini-dome cameras fulfill this need due to their ability to adjust to variable and low light conditions, ensuring sharp, crisp color images in dark or backlit environments such as windows and doorways. These deliver reliable security with usable video evidence if required, regardless of the lighting conditions.
Honeywell's Acuix ES PTZ domes were also installed in this area as they feature privacy zone settings and suited for use in sensitive areas as they protect privacy whilst offering a high level of security. Combined with the DVRs, these cameras use motion detection to automatically boost the image per second recording rate to capture additional details of a scene and to capture the maximum detail at building entrances and exits. This results in a system that maximizes and streamlines security, is easy to control and manages the safety of patients and hospital employees.