Mobotix won a project from Southend University Hospital NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust, creating the largest Mobotix all digital, HD surveillance system within any NHS facility to help protect more than one million people.
The solution designed and implemented by Check Your Security (CYS), a Mobotix partner, replaces an ageing analogue system and is part of an integrated platform including barrier entry help in LPR and VoIP-based help points across the 87 770-square-metre campus in Westcliff-on-Sea near Southend. The surveillance system was old and offered poor image quality, especially at night, hampering the accurate identification and safety of more than a million staff, patients and visitors.
As the hospital is in operation 24/7, 365 days a year, there are always people on-site, so the Trust looks at surveillance in a different way to most commercial enterprises. Rather than being installed for the prime protection of property, its primary focus was on the protection of people and includes surveillance across the full perimeter, all entry and exit points for both vehicle and foot traffic, as well as key transit points to ensure their safety and well being.
The selection of Mobotix based technology followed an exhaustive multi-month tender and evaluation process including meetings with numerous local and national suppliers and manufacturers as well as site visits to similar environments. The 18-month project was completed in several stages. “We were impressed by Mobotix’s camera system with its 3-megapixel images, two way audio, PoE capability, low-light performance and ability to work in any environment without the need for a housing, heaters or fans,” said Kevin Chinnery, head of security for Southend NHS Trust. “The addition of a full surveillance software suite included with the product was also a significant cost saving for us.”
The project goes beyond simple surveillance. Mobotix cameras were integrated into the Help Point voice call system, vehicle barriers and door access control systems, to reduce the management overheads for site security staff. With no moving parts within the cameras and a completely digital capture and storage system, the Trust is also estimating an increase in reliability of the surveillance system. “The quality of our surveillance is reducing some of our insurance costs, especially around our car parking,” Chinnery said.
With a 25-strong site security team, the surveillance also needed to be easily accessible and able to deliver evidential quality images. To meet this need, CYS created integrated sitemaps to pull up all cameras in an incident area at the touch of a button. Footage is stored in a highly fault tolerant and tamper-proof storage cluster and can be quickly searched and copied onto removable media for use by the police if needed. “Many people think of surveillance as just a security measure,” Chinnery said, “But we have also used it to find a confused elderly patient who wandered out of a ward, to ascertain the cause of several traffic accidents in a car park, for staffing issues and to help the police in several on-going investigations.”
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