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First to train new Security Manager

Newsdate: 3rd April 2006

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust first to train new Security Manager

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust is leading the way in a new strategic and professional approach to improving security in the NHS, including tackling violence against NHS staff and the theft of property.

Working with the police, Ian Martin, the qualified Local Security Management Specialist(s) (LSMS) and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust’s Head of Security, will investigate security breaches and implement new systems to help protect the NHS. They will illustrate to staff and patients the importance of a secure NHS.

During a five-week intensive training programme at the NHS Security Management Service  (NHS SMS) Training Centre in Coventry, Ian Martin LSMS received professional training in both technical skills and the ethical framework needed to use those skills properly. This included areas such as investigative interviewing skills and a background in the law. The Foundation Level professional qualification of 'Security Management Specialist' will shortly be followed by related Advanced and Degree Levels.

Every LSMS is supported by a NHS SMS developed Security Management Manual. The manual sets out the role of the LSMS and the new strategic approach to NHS security and gives advice on handling specific security breaches. It also includes examples of practical security measures. These include:

  • Tackling violence and abuse against NHS staff;
  • Appropriate use of technology, e.g. CCTV and radio communications, and training for all security personnel to be able to use it effectively;
  • Effective alarm systems such as movement sensors and personal attack buttons;
  • NHS frontline staff trained in conflict resolution (see Notes to Editors for details);
  • A series of measures to protect babies and children in maternity and paediatric units such as pressure alarms in cots and electronic tagging.

Ian Martin said:
“I am determined to keep the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust safe and secure for patients and staff. Over the years too many people have got away unpunished for their crimes against the NHS, especially those who attack our staff. This new professional approach, supported by a lifetime of criminal investigations, means I have the skills to investigate incidents and take the appropriate legal action against those who abuse the health service. The NHS should be a safe place for staff to work and for the treatment of the sick and injured, therefore we will not countenance anti-social and criminal activity in the hospital environments.”

Richard Hampton, Director of Security Management, at the NHS SMS said:
“This new security profession is a first for the public sector. The NHS is leading the way in ensuring proper protection for people, property and assets. Along with the training, the new manual and national support from the NHS SMS, we believe that the NHS has never had a better chance to reduce violence, theft and vandalism in its hospitals and in the community.

“Those who believe the NHS is an easy target for crime are in for a shock. My message to those who think the NHS is a soft touch is this – we will not tolerate crime and we now have the means to punish you.”