Published: 20/03/2003, Volume II3, No. 5847 Page 10

All NHS trusts will have to meet defined standards of security to protect staff, patients and property under arrangements being developed by the new Counter-Fraud and Security Management Service, its newly appointed chief executive Jim Gee said last week.

The special health authority - which builds on the work of the NHS Counter-Fraud Service, of which Mr Gee was director - will add security work to its remit, which will include prevention of violence against staff and patients, particularly in accident and emergency units, the safety of maternity units, treatment of hazardous materials and safety of patient records.

Although junior health minister Lord Hunt said the Department of Health would not be issuing directives, Mr Gee made it clear that common standards, developed by the CFSMS, would have to be met by all trusts.