Why Do Hospitals Have Security Guards?

25 May, 2023

Hospitals and healthcare professionals deserve protection while they serve their communities and the vulnerable patients under their care. Unfortunately, hospitals are public spaces frequented by a huge number of individuals at any given moment, many of whom are experiencing heightened emotions or even under the influence of alcohol and drugs. More than 72,000 attacks were carried out against NHS staff between 2018 and 2022 alone. In 2023, a student nurse was arrested outside a maternity hospital in Leeds, carrying a homemade bomb.

It’s important that hospitals have protection in place to keep their staff, facilities, and patients safe.


Why Hospitals Are Vulnerable

High-density locations with crowded facilities that are open to the public. There are usually multiple entry points, with vast numbers of people coming and going throughout the day, leaving staff and visitors exposed to theft and violence. Thieves may target medical supplies (including equipment and medicines) as well as the personal belongings of vulnerable patients; unwanted visitors under the influence of alcohol and other substances or suffering from mental distress can cause disturbances. Security guards can reduce the risk of the hospital becoming a target.

What Should Hospitals Do To Become More Secure?

In order to become more secure, hospitals should conduct a risk assessment to identify vulnerable areas of the hospital, including lobbies, A&E departments, entryways, and other access points. Once these areas have been identified, the hospital can take measures to ramp up security with security guards or security screens.

Security guards that are experienced, licensed, and trained to establish a secure presence in the hospital and can control access points in the hospital. They often serve as a powerful deterrent to potential thieves and criminals as they can respond quickly to security issues in the building. Security can also monitor the traffic flow in the delivery/parking areas of the hospital building in order to secure expensive supplies and identify suspicious activity.


How Security Screens Can Assist

Security cannot protect all areas of the hospital at all times. Security screens like CounterShield can be used in hospitals to create a physical barrier between healthcare workers and potentially violent or aggressive patients, visitors, or bystanders. These screens are typically made of durable, transparent material that allows staff to see and communicate with patients while providing a level of protection from physical assault.

The screens can be quickly and easily placed in the closed position in times of high risk to provide a safe space for staff and patients.

Safetell has decades of experience providing custom security solutions to hospitals in the UK. One of the many products supplied to hospitals includes CounterShield, an electrically operated security screen controlled by staff so that they can respond to emergency situations at any time without limiting access to patients.