Salto Sytems has displayed how its Home Automation know-how can be applied to a large and complex building like a district hospital
Salisbury District Hospital, in response to a Home Office directive to all NHS hospitals, has just upgraded its smart access control system to enable instant lockdown of the site in the event of a security event necessitating such measure.
Part of the Bath and North-East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB), which delivers a broad range of clinical care to a combined population of 940,000 and cover a large and varied geographical area (1,511msq) that includes the densely populated and growing town of Swindon to the north, the historic city of Bath, Salisbury Plain to the south as well as the rolling Mendip Hills to the west.
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust employs some 4,900 staff. Salisbury itself has only 41,000 of the population covered by the board but retains automatic city status by dint of its famous cathedral, which has (at 404 feet) the tallest spire in the country.
The directive is part of the Home Office’s outcome delivery plan whose overall strategy is to reduce the vulnerability of a terrorist or similar such attack in the UK on targets deemed key national infrastructure and provide a balanced and comprehensive response.
What did the Salisbury hospital require?
Hospital security plays a vital part in the NHS. It protects and ensures the safety of all individuals, including both patients and staff as the challenges involved in securing a hospital are unlike those in almost any other building.
Most hospitals have relatively easy access because they want to provide a welcoming environment. While this dictates that it is often necessary to allow for high levels of public access to the hospital and other health service amenities including the routes linking different departments, all entry to back of house areas and most other facilities must be restricted for the protection of both patients, staff and property.
Precisely how this is achieved depends on many factors including the level of security required in specific areas and the numbers of people likely to need access to those areas in the course of their work.
Fortunately, such security is normally required just to play its part in personal safety and crime prevention.
However, should there be an incident be of a more serious nature either locally or in the hospital itself, the Home Office directive states that all NHS hospitals must have the ability to respond within ten minutes if a ‘lockdown’ order is given either internally by the hospitals own security staff or by Police, Military or other civilian authority.
Having taken the decision to standardize access control on the SALTO system some years ago with a flexible mix of online and offline doors, the hospital called in SALTO Platinum Partner Guardian Security to discuss and recommend a solution for the upgrade.
Sean Monger Managing Director at Guardian Security says that XS4 2.0 wall readers were crucial to the overall success of the project in Salisbury.
And with a single command to the controlling software, the doors can be “locked down” immediately.
Monger adds: “What the hospital needed was the ability to lock down all their perimeter doors, plus the Emergency Department as well as all the corridor doors leading to wards.
“To achieve this, and having conducted a site-wide door survey, we recommended the use of SALTO XS4 2.0 wall readers in combination with CU42EO control units.
“The XS4 2.0 wall readers enable the expansion of SALTO access control benefits to all those doors that need to be online.
“In normal everyday use, they read encrypted data contained on staff ID/access cards and communicate it to the door controller.
“They also allow for updating of the card via SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) technology, making it possible to cancel lost or stolen cards remotely.
“The CU42EO SVN online control units provide the ability to control and manage multiple doors through one Ethernet connection and one IP address, making for simple cost-effective security.
“Now, with the above access control technology fitted to all relevant doors, in the event of a security incident at the hospital with a single command to the controlling software, utilising the cause-and-effect software feature, doors can be ‘locked down’ instantly. Altogether, a mixture of SALTO online and offline doors are fitted throughout the 57-acre, 450 bed hospital site.”
Jade Mitchell SALTO Regional Support Manager South West, says the hospital is a “smarter, more secure” building which conforms to the Home Office’s directives.
She adds: “The ability to lock down a site is something that SALTO has long offered typically in the higher education market where there have been numerous security events on American college and university campuses.
“Our SALTO AMOK electronic escutcheons enable classrooms and other facilities to quickly lock down locally or site-wide during a security or other emergency event.
“Thanks to our leadership in innovative wireless access control systems we were in a unique position to provide a customised security solution and now, following this Home Office directive, we have convincingly helped turn Salisbury District Hospital into a smarter, more secure hospital with outstanding specification, installation and support via Sean and his team at SALTO Platinum Partner Guardian Security.”