Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust trialled body cameras as part of their battle against violence and aggression.
The trial, which saw 12 cameras trialled by 60 staff for three months across five mental health wards at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, reduced the need for emergency restraint from 41 incidents to 18.
According to official NHS figures, in 2016 there were 70,555 recorded episodes of violence and aggression – which equates to around 193 assaults on NHS staff every day. However, total numbers are said to be dramatically higher as many acts of violence and aggression go unreported.
Feedback was positive.
The trust says that feedback from service users, staff and carers was overwhelmingly positive – 90% of staff said they felt cameras prevented confrontational situations and helped to provide an accurate record of incidents.
A carer said; “My partner is currently being treated as an inpatient at Berrywood Hospital and seeing the body cameras in use has made me feel more reassured and more comfortable that if staff have to intervene their actions are recorded and it is a last resort.”
Improved patient safety and care.
Lindsay Bennett, Manager of the Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said; “We wanted to trial the use of BWC’s because we are always looking for ways to improve safety and patient care. We know that working together with service users so we can identify their triggers and what helps them when they do feel angry or frustrated, is the best way to avoid conflict.
“Using the footage from the Body Worn Cameras has enormous potential to help us prevent incidents and improve how we respond when they do occur as it is a really powerful way of learning.”
Alasdair Field, CEO of Calla – the company who manufacture the body cameras, said; “Having seen the results this technology brings in calming volatile situations, we are further encouraged by the results published in this study. We strongly believe the use of body worn cameras can only improve transparency and accountability, which in turn enhances trust and the relationship between patients and nursing staff.”
As a direct result of the trial, the trust has been named as a finalist for the Royal College of Nursing Institute Awards and shortlisted for an HSJ Patient Safety Award.