A HOSPITAL in Bury St Edmunds has nearly doubled its CCTV coverage as it prepares for the busy Christmas period and the abusive drunks it will get through its doors.
West Suffolk Hospital has installed 27 new cameras across the grounds and car park – adding to the 32 cameras it already has inside its buildings.
The £30,000 move is part of a number of security measures designed to give reassurance to patients, visitors and staff.
At the same time, Jan Bloomfield, the hospital’s executive director of workforce and communications, has issued a plea for patients and visitors to treat staff ‘with the respect and gratitude they deserve’.
“This is especially important during the festive season, when people tend to drink more alcohol and may lose their inhibitions and become aggressive as a result,” she said,
“The festive period is one of the busiest of the year, especially for our dedicated A&E staff. However, they can find themselves subjected to abuse, and sometimes even violence, from the very people they are trying to help.
“We take the safety of our staff extremely seriously and will not tolerate aggression against them. Should such incidents occur, we will take action and prosecute offenders through the courts if necessary.”
Christmas traditionally sees an increase in the number of people suffering from the effects of alcohol visiting the hospital. The hospital operates a zero tolerance policy, which means action will be taken against anyone who abuses or assaults members of staff.
Meanwhile, PCSO Liz Lake, who is based at the hospital, has had her posting extended by two years.
Suffolk Police and the hospital part fund her role.