For the majority of us it’s hard to imagine why criminals would target NHS premises and staff. And yet even in these unprecedented times when resources are already stretched to the limit we’re hearing reports of theft from NHS premises and crimes against NHS staff.
Surgical gloves and facemasks are being stolen from hospitals and GP surgeries up and down the country with no consideration for the health and safety of doctors, nurses, and patients. These crimes are occurring as NHS staff in many areas of the country are appealing for personal protective equipment, which many have said are in short supply.
‘A man has been jailed for stealing face masks from a hospital. Lerun Hussain, 34, took the vital protective equipment from King’s College Hospital in London, where one of the UK’s youngest coronavirus victims is among the patients to have died after testing positive for COVID-19. Police were called to the hospital after Hussain was detained by security staff.
news.sky.com 8 April 2020
Whilst security staff are working tirelessly to protect assets and equipment some hospitals remain vulnerable. By closing all non-essential services and locking entrances that aren’t used for emergency access hospitals can limit the number of monitored access points. By reducing the number of monitored access points hospital security staff can channel what are already limited resources more effectively to monitor an individual’s movements more closely which can reduce the risk of criminal activity and theft.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic crimes against NHS staff were at historical highs with 2019 NHS staff survey reporting that 15% of NHS staff had experienced some form of physical violence from the public or patients in the past year – rising to 34% in ambulance trust staff.
In his letter to the NHS in February 2020 the health secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged that more had to be done to combat the problem. He outlined a plan to ‘ensure that those who act violently and with criminal intent towards NHS staff will swiftly be brought to justice’.
The National Police Chief’s Council and The Crime Prosecution Service’s ‘Interim CPS Charging Protocol’ published this month states that ‘attacks on emergency workers, frauds related to Covid-19 and other crimes linked to the virus would be passed to the court immediately’.
No healthcare professional should have to face being attacked by a member of the public or a patient while doing his or her job. The NHS urgently needs Government funding for more security guards and security officers to protect frontline workers from attack.
Magenta Security have been protecting healthcare premises and healthcare professionals for over twenty years. We understand the complex requirements of the sector and have experience creating bespoke security packages for a number of healthcare institutions. As well as providing traditional security to the healthcare sector we’re looking at new and innovative ways that we can safeguard healthcare premises and professionals during these unprecedented times.
We’re privileged to have an excellent team of personnel that are committed to finding new ways that we can adapt and improve our security services, and to find innovative ways of providing better security within the healthcare sector.
If you need traditional security cover for criminal protection or short-term support during the current lockdown, Magenta Security can create a bespoke security package for you.
Call our customer service team today on 0800 772 3786 and see how we can help.
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