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'Protection team' drafted in at West Suffolk Hospital to help keep patients and staff safe




West Suffolk Hospital Foundation Trust has introduced a new 'protection team' to help keep patients and staff safe.

The move comes after 18 per cent of trust staff reported being subjected to physical violence from patients, their relatives or members of the public in the past year, in the latest NHS Staff Survey.

That figure places West Suffolk above the NHS national average of 15 per cent.

West Suffolk Foundation Trust welcomes new security team RPI, with security manager Darren Cooksey (5194039)
West Suffolk Foundation Trust welcomes new security team RPI, with security manager Darren Cooksey (5194039)

Now, a 12-strong 24-7 'restrictive physical intervention' (RPI) security team will help to make the hospital safe and secure for patients, visitors and staff.

Darren Cooksey, security manager, said: “We don’t tolerate violence and aggression against others.

“No staff member, patient or visitor should visit our hospital and feel or be threatened by someone else."

Such behaviour can be out of many patients' control, so the RPI team is trained to offer support and mediation rather than physical restraint, where possible.

"We hope we will be a resource for staff to turn to so they can spend their valuable time doing what they do best – providing clinical care," added Darren.

As well as supporting conflict incidents, the RPI team will help to keep the hospital secure through patrols, monitoring access to restricted areas, helping to keep locked areas secure and escorting staff to their cars if it is dark or out-of-hours.

Craig Black, director of resources, said: “The safety of those on our site is obviously very important to us and that’s been reflected in our investment in this new, specially-trained support team.

“Though violence and security incidents are relatively rare, it’s important we have the right support measures in place to deal with them.”



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