The franchise was inspired to share this guidance for GP surgeries by stories like one of a GP surgery attack in Openshaw last September, which saw four staff members injured.
Of the aforementioned staff members, two were injured so severely that they were left needing hospital treatment. As the security franchise put it, “It was a shocking incident and sadly it wasn’t an isolated case either, although thankfully it is rare for so many staff to sustain such serious injuries. The threat isn’t only physical; there has [also] been a rise in the number of frontline staff receiving verbal abuse from patients.” In terms of making surgeries safer, for both staff members and patients, Jackson Fire recommended the following:
- A physical security risk assessment - “This is something that should be reviewed on a regular basis, as well as in response to any specific updates to guidance or procedures, or any new ways of working that are introduced.” It should include consultation rooms, the reception area, pharmacies, offices and storage areas. Once risks are found, they must then be considered against “the likelihood of each risk actually materialising”, allowing this likelihood to guide actions that should be taken.
- Considering/controlling surgery access - “The nature of a GP surgery does mean that it must be readily accessible so patients can enter and exit, typically but not always, through one main entrance. But the risk assessment must take any other access points into account too, both in terms of people entering the building and also being able to access restricted areas.”
- Using security alarms for maximum protection - “A robust approach to access control will reduce the risk, but this can be further supplemented by ensuring there’s an intruder alarm system in place covering the full premises.” Alarms should be regularly tested, and can also be linked to an ARC (Alarm Response Centre).
- Considering the use of CCTV - As long as a system is installed for the prevention and detection of crime and signposted to make people aware of it, “CCTV systems can be used in certain areas of GP surgeries” to increase safety and security.
- Carrying out regular staff training - Surgery employees should be periodically refreshed “on what they should be doing when it comes to security”, and new starters should also be brought up to speed.
To find out more about this hugely well-informed security franchise (and about a potential investment), you can visit Jackson Fire and Security’s profile page on Point Franchise. You’ll discover this page linked above.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©