Built in 1962 and located in East Belfast, the Ulster Hospital, with a staff of around 3500, provides acute services to a population of over 260 000. In 2001, the Accident and Emergency (A&E) services, that had originally planned to care for 25 000 patients a year, was dealing with over 70 000. The hospital, also a designated Cancer Unit, was in need of more outpatient facilities, including Imaging Services.
The maternity and theatre blocks required a thorough update to bring them up to 21st century care standards. All these factors created a requirement for a major redevelopment plan which was to span over seven years, with a budget of £98 million.
Prior to 2001 when the plans for the hospital redevelopment were announced, the hospital was operating a minimal security system from a temporary room within the hospital building. It consisted of CCTV coverage limited to some areas of the main building and to the main front car parks. The security installations from various manufacturers were reaching the end of their life expectancy. The new hospital would have some of its infrastructure refurbished, whilst a range of new facilities would be built including a Maternity Unit, a Renal Unit, a terraced car park, a specialist Security Control Centre and a Critical Care Centre as part of the first phase.
From the start, the Trust management team was determined that the new facilities would meet the latest safety and security standards to protect staff, patients, visitors and assets.
The Trust chose the Fire & Security integrator Building Protection Systems Northern Ireland (BPS) to carry out the project.
Ricky Barker, hotel services manager, responsible for security issues management, and the implementation of security systems at the Ulster Hospital comments, “The Trust sought a preferred supplier of security systems that would facilitate the standardisation of security equipment and provide integrated security solutions. BPS recommended Honeywell. “
The first major phase in the redevelopment included the creation of a new Renal Unit, a new Maternity Unit, and a new multistorey car park for the use of both staff and visitors. It has been critical to give hospital staff and visitors full confidence to use the new facility by demonstrating the high level of investment in security to ensure their safety. In total, 52 cameras, a mixture of Honeywell fully functional domes and vandal resistant fixed domes with day/night capabilities have been installed in and around the new car park, including in the car park lifts.
The Trust also required that its old and new CCTV systems be fully integrated. It was critical that the new system could accommodate a doubling of installed cameras at completion of the modernisation project. This has been achieved through the installation of a Honeywell Maxpro matrix which currently controls over 160 cameras, increasing to 320 in the future.
The final building under construction as part of the first phase is the Critical Care Centre where an additional 31 cameras are due to be added. A key requirement of the Trust was round the clock monitoring of the hospital premises to guarantee a 24/7 protection of staff, patients and visitors, and the smooth operation of the car park and other essential infrastructure. This has been achieved through a brand new and state-of-the-art Security Control Centre, opened in February 2007. The Honeywell Digital Video Recording system ensures all evidential video information is suitably stored and is easily retrievable in the event of a security breach or a health and safety incident.
Using a solution from Honeywell, the Ulster Hospital now has a state-of-the-art security system ensuring the safety and security of staff, patients and visitors. Security in the car park, an important element of the project, has been significantly improved thanks to the deterrent effect of the CCTV system against theft and assaults. Using Honeywell HRXD digital video recorders (DVRs), the Trust can retrieve evidence easily, a capability that is regularly exploited by the police in the course of their investigations into crime.
Barker comments, “Our new security system enables us to monitor aggressive behaviours in areas such as A&E, and to take pre-emptive action. Honeywell equipment is easy to use and of evidential quality, which we required to meet Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) standards relating to recognition and identification of CCTV images.”
For more information contact Konrad Weinert, sales leader - Africa, Honeywell Systems Group, +27 (0)11 574 2500, www.security.honeywell.com/za
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