Body-worn cameras to be introduced in University Hospital Emergency Department to protect staff and patients from violence and aggression

Body-worn cameras are being introduced as part of a pilot initiative in the Emergency Department at University Hospital, Coventry to help protect staff and patients alike from threatening and violent behaviour.

The cameras, being introduced from Wednesday 7th July, are roughly the size of a smartphone and will only be worn by designated clinical staff to help deter hospital visitors from being aggressive – creating a safer environment for everyone.

In addition to hopefully preventing this type of behaviour, the body-worn cameras will also help to identify and prosecute any offenders.

The launch of the body cameras forms part of a wider programme being rolled out across the Trust that will encourage everyone to remember to respect each other. The campaign will aim to tackle violence and aggression towards staff and help to create a safer environment for patients, staff and visitors.

Frontline staff on shift, who have been provided with training, will wear the camera on their uniform in clear view, while the body-worn video will only be switched on when an individual is being violent or abusive and only after they’ve been told that they’re about to be recorded.

Donna Griffiths, Chief People Officer at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, said: “Our staff have been absolutely incredible throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; consistently putting the needs of our patients before their own; and every member of our dedicated and hardworking staff has the fundamental right to be safe at work and it is our priority to eliminate violence and abuse.

“Violent and aggressive behaviour, be that against our staff or other patients or visitors, has absolutely no place in our hospitals and will not be tolerated.”

“As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step in ensuring patients feel safe too.”