I found your article on violence in the NHS (16 April) excellent and refreshing. I work as a local security management specialist in Dorset and agree that tackling violence and crime in the NHS is a multi-agency task.
Since my appointment, I have witnessed an increase in incident reporting by frontline staff. We have also seen a positive response from the police investigating such incidents, who are keen to implement the memorandum of understanding signed between the NHS and the Association of Chief Police Officers.last year. There was a similar agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service.last November, and the local branch and the NHS are working closely to tackle violence towards staff.
In Dorset we are fortunate enough to have strong partnerships with Dorset Police, Dorset Crown Prosecution Service, Victim Support and the local criminal justice board. What has become apparent is that the NHS did not have a voice or a cohesive approach towards security until recently. However, with the appointment of security management, security issues are taking centre stage and members of the public are starting to realise their contribution and stake in ensuring a safer and secure NHS.
As the NHS can not apply for ASBOs in its own right, we need to submit applications through local authorities and the police. However, as the article rightly pointed out, trusts have other sanctions at their disposal that they can take against offenders.
Security is the responsibility of all, however, trusts need to do much more to deter and prevent certain incidents from happening.
Will Smith, local security management specialist, Dorset and Somerset Security Management Service