Hospital car park staff to wear CCTV camerasFri, 07 Feb 2014
STAFF AT A HOSPITAL car park are being kitted out with personal CCTV cameras in a bid to combat a rapid rise in violence and aggression towards them.
NHS Lothian said staff working in car parks at St John's Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, have been subjected to verbal and physical abuse from angry motorists in recent weeks.
One attendant was hit with a walking stick and another had a car driven at them during the recent spate of incidents.
Health bosses hope the small cameras worn by staff will act as a deterrent to drivers who become aggressive and abusive and will be a "silent witness" against those who break the law.
George Curley, director of operations facilities at NHS Lothian, said: "We have a zero-tolerance approach to violence and aggression in the workplace and a duty to protect our workforce.
"These car parking attendants are performing a vital function by ensuring that patients can park and receive clinical care they require while directing general visitors to other areas.
"This abusive behaviour is completely unacceptable and we will not tolerate it.
The health board said it began employing attendants at St John's to help ensure that patients' car parks were used by patients only and not general visitors. Visitors to the hospital were then directed to other car parks around the site.
When the move began in November, there were two incidents but over December and January the total reached 14, health bosses said.
The state-of-the-art gadgets are the size of a name badge and are being introduced on a trial basis.
The attendants will begin wearing the cameras in the main patient car park from next week.
If the pilot scheme is successful, it could be extended to other hospitals in NHS Lothian.
Mr Curley added: "Some of these drivers think that because no-one else is around to witness their unacceptable behaviour that they will get away with it. That will no longer be the case."
By Hilary Duncanson, Press Association