Security guards employed in A&E & cctv/bodycam use

Alea made this Freedom of Information request to University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

The following information is requested:

(1) Who employs the security personnel at UCLH A&E department?

If it is a private company name them.

If a private company is used confirm that UCLH has directly tendered the contract and provide details of the Trust team responsible for governance.

(2) If a private company is used confirm the terms and conditions of use of bodycams including what governance if any UCLH oversees and how long bodycam images are required to be kept.

If UCLH directly employ security staff apply the same questions.

(3) Re cctv images confirm or otherwise that ALL cctv in ALL areas of the A&E department are both owned and managed by the Trust ( including where said management is sub contracted to an agent acting on the Trust's behalf ie a private company)

(4) If owned by the Trust but management is through a tendered contract explain what governance if any UCLH oversees and how long cctv images are required to be kept.

(5) Provide copies of ALL policies and procedures issued when the Trust is served with legal action re abuse or negligence of pts, where bodycam and cctv would obviously be pertinent to both civil and criminal allegations.

(6) Whose job is it to manage and supervise security staff behaviour, actions including where physical restraint is used during shifts?

(7) The Trust has admitted not a single security staff employed in A&E is enhanced DBS checked, despite their use on vulnerable patients where they are both in close proximity and regularly physically touch, remove clothing, search and observe, including where vulnerable patients are partly undressed ( for eg on toilet or when forcibly injected ).

Provide the exemption clause the Trust believes applies to the Disclosure and Barring Service requirements that means such staff ( almost entirely male in this case) are NOT enhanced checked to see if previous convictions or soft intelligence would advise such employment unsafe.

Yours faithfully,

Alea

BACON, Cindy (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Ms Alea

 

Ref No: FOI/2020/0660

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000: receipt
of request

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to UCLH NHS Foundation
Trust, received on Tuesday 29^th December 2020. You should receive a
response by Wednesday 27^th January 2021 at the latest, complying with the
20 working days as prescribed in the Act.

 

Occasionally, we may not be able to provide you with all the information
you require by that date, but if this is the case we will inform you,
stating the reason and the date by which we would hope to respond to your
request. 

 

Under the Act, there are 23 exemptions that can be applied to the
information you request.  This may mean that we do not have to supply some
or all of the information, and in certain circumstances, do not have to
tell you if we hold the information.  If this happens, you will be told
which exemption applies.

 

If you have any queries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

 

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Yours sincerely

 

Cindy

 

Cindy Bacon
FOI Manager, UCLH

Email: [1][email address]

Direct line telephone 020 3447 9115 ext: 79115
Digital Healthcare, 2^nd Floor, Maple House

We are committed to delivering top-quality patient care, excellent
education and world class research

safety  kindness  teamwork  improving

[2]UCLH website | [3]Media | [4]Become a member | [5]Support our charities
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BACON, Cindy (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Alea

 

Ref No: FOI/2020/0660

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
information supplied

 

Your request for information relating to UCLH Foundation Trust has been
processed.  Please find attached the Trust’s response to your request.

 

If you have any queries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to
contact us.  If you are not satisfied with the handling of your request
you are entitled to ask for an internal review by contacting:

 

The Trust Record and Archive Manager

UCLH NHS Foundation Trust

2^nd Floor, Maple House

149 Tottenham Court Road

London

W1T 7NF

[1][email address]

 

Please quote your reference number in any communication with us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Cindy

 

Cindy Bacon
FOI Manager, UCLH

Email: [2][email address]

Direct line telephone 020 3447 9115 ext: 79115
Digital Healthcare, 2^nd Floor, Maple House

We are committed to delivering top-quality patient care, excellent
education and world class research

safety  kindness  teamwork  improving

[3]UCLH website | [4]Media | [5]Become a member | [6]Support our charities
| [7]Contact UCLH
[8]Find us on Facebook | [9]Follow us on Twitter | [10]Subscribe on
YouTube

 

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Dear University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Security guards employed in A&E & cctv/bodycam use'.

Q 7) states:
The Trust has admitted not a single security staff employed in A&E is enhanced DBS checked, despite their use on vulnerable patients where they are both in close proximity and regularly physically touch, remove clothing, search and observe, including where vulnerable patients are partly undressed ( for eg on toilet or when forcibly injected ).

Provide the exemption clause the Trust believes applies to the Disclosure and Barring Service requirements that means such staff ( almost entirely male in this case) are NOT enhanced checked to see if previous convictions or soft intelligence would advise such employment unsafe.

You have failed to answer .

ALL you have done is repeat that security officers are ONLY standard DBS checked. Despite the fact that the duties they undertake involve close physical contact with highly vulnerable patients, including forced removal of clothing , restraint and use when forcibly administering medication.

The Trust has been asked for the exemption clause you believe applies that means security staff only require standard DBS checks when their duties are such that the threshold for enhanced DBS check is required.

Please provide a copy of the job description of the average grade security guard in A&E is employed by the Trust .

This is not sensitive commercial information given that these posts are presumably publicly advertised, are not subject to any legislative exemptions and they are acting as the agents of the NHS, a public body .

There is also a very strong public interest in knowing why front facing staff used in the manner they are - particularly in the mental health suite- are not checked in a manner reasonable to expect.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Alea

SCOTT-DAVIES, Daniel (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Alea, 

 

FOI-0660-20 Internal Review Response 

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review and please find attached
my response.
Yours faithfully,
D. Scott-Davies

Daniel Scott-Davies
Record and Archive Manager

UCLH NHS Foundation Trust

Digital Healthcare
[1][email address] | 020 3447 7717 | 07952268783

[2]www.uclh.nhs.uk

 

We are committed to delivering
top-quality patient care, excellent
education and world class research

safety  kindness  teamwork  improving

show quoted sections

Dear SCOTT-DAVIES, Daniel (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

According to the Disclosure and Barring Service a full enhanced DBS check and checking of banned lists is required when
'someone supervised by ( a healthcare professional) while providing healthcare"
.
To state or implicate that security guards in the emergency department in the mental health suite are NOT providing healthcare is a total absolute mendacious statement designed to publicly mislead .

It is totally untrue and UCLH know this given so many public complaints have been made about misuse of security guards ( almost 100% male by your own admisdion) and substandard ,or worse, healthcare that results.

As ALL who have ever been subjected to detention in this suite ( lawfully and unlawfully) can and HAVE reported repeatedly and publicly, security guards are repeatedly and regularly used in place of HCAs and mental health nurses because neither UCLH nor Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust ( who supposedly manage this provision) have been prepared to fund actual healthcare staff.

As a direct result for sometimes more than 24 hrs at a time ONLY security guards are attending to basic health and care needs such as toiletting, providing food and hydration , restraining WITHOUT supervision having clinically assessed themselves, monitoring levels of alertness and consciousness, and VERY significantly are given the specific task of assessing the mental and physical healthcare of individuals WHICH IS A FUNCTION OF HEALTHCARE.

They are SPECIFICALLY told to report deterioration of an individual's health to a healthcare professional. THIS IS A FUNCTION OF HEALTHCARE .

They are SPECIFICALLY told how to assess someone's mental capacity ( despite the job description provided being clear that the private company employed have absolutely NO knowledge of a single applicable legal provision) . THIS IS A FUNCTION OF HEALTHCARE .

The clinical staff supervising - the mental health liaison team- both cannot see the individual from their office but by the Trust's OWN admission are frequently not even in department because they have a role across the entire hospital.

THEY DELEGATE HEALTHCARE FUNCTIONS TO SECURITY TEAMS IN THEIR ABSENCE .
THEREFORE SECURITY STAFF ARE UNDERTAKING HEALTHCARE.

There are extremely serious safeguarding concerns which the Trust is aware of. The simple fact that almost the entire security staff are male and ALL data confirms restraint is disproportionately used against vulnerable women should be of concern to the lead consultants and department managers.

The Trust KNOW ( as do Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust) that at least 40% of vulnerable women have a history of being victims of serious sexual abuse and rape.

Yet you ONLY employ non enhanced DBS checked male security who could have a significant offending history and whose actions and role delegated are widely reported as retraumatising.

These aren't allegations.
This is reported published data which the Trust is fully aware of.
As are the length of times this group of pts are detained for - including when not under any section but where security guards use their ' clinical judgement ' that someone hasn't got mental capacity and based on this pts are forcibly locked in a room , restrained, unable to leave the hospital .

Again, the above action of assessing mental capacity IS A FUNCTION OF HEALTHCARE .

Security guards in the emergency department of UCLH undertake functions of healthcare and as such are required to be enhanced DBS checked INCLUDING BANNED LISTS.

The fact they are doing so is because of the long standing history of resource arguments between the 2 Trusts and poor management is irrelevant.

You are reminded that FOIs are legal responses.
You are reminded that very serious public criticism has been made about the practice of using security guards in this way.

The fact that you use ALL male guards when knowing the retraumatisation caused to vulnerable women -harm as defined by your own safeguarding policies - AND DONT EVEN SEE THIS AS A PROBLEM , remains of serious concern to vulnerable women .Who if ask for crisis help or need emergency department attendance risk practices by private agency non enhanced DBS checked male staff who may have a offending history related to violence against the person.

You might want to fact check next time you respond to FOIs about how vulnerable persons with mental health needs are treated in the emergency department.

References for all citations can be provided on request.
But you would have hoped the ED leads would have read ALL reports on harm reported and sexual abuse retraumatisation when all male staff are used in mental health on women.

Clearly, based on your response, those responsible for the management of this private security firm and others used don't seem to even know what security staff actually do.

Or, maybe they do?

Yours sincerely,

Alea

Dear SCOTT-DAVIES, Daniel (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

The Trust's continuing use of ( almost entirely male) security officers in a health care capacity is in direct breach of the regulations of the Disclosure and Barring Service.

It is both grossly and deliberately misleading to try and avoid responding to the question asked by claiming these day to day functions are not a regular and daily occurance when it is standard practice.

The Trust has considered and discussed use of security staff in place of health care professionals or assistants on multiple occasions in multiple meetings.
With Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and internally.

You continue to use unchecked untrained mostly male staff without the necessary legal checks when vulnerable persons attend A& E. Security staff who could have serious offending histories and place pts at risk.

You were asked to provide the legal basis for not enhance checking and have failed to do so.

Instead you have claimed that they dont undertake healthcare related duties when they do and literally hundreds of vulnerable pts can and do attest to this anecdotedly on a daily basis.

You are also aware that serious complaints have been raised about conduct of said staff in relation as to how they act in their role. Particularly towards women.

So your claim is without basis and you have simply misled and been wholly untruthful instead of providing the legal clause in statute that you rely upon when failing to check.

FoIs are required to be transparent, accurate and honest.
Creating an alternative narrative to avoid responding is a serious breach of DPA regulation and of statutory guidance.

This case will therefore be referred to the ICO because in denying the practice exists to avoid responding is not compliant .

There is also a significant public interest case in challenging the veracity of your response given these are serious safeguarding breaches .

Denying use of a practice is also a clear safety concern and raises multiple concerns.

J Epstein left an annotation ()

Shocking situation to farm out clinical responsibility to security staff, who likely have no education, offendending backgrounds and no basic communication skills. This is a situation for a tv documentary how a central london, i.e. one of the richest capital cities in the world, hospital treats or rather abuses patients.

Alea left an annotation ()

Agreed.
Channel 4 news covered the case of a vulnerable older man detained unlawfully in a different A& E couple weeks back in a different Trust who had to settle out of court.

UCLH senior management team and the chief executive are fully aware of just how unsafe and harmful this situation is, as so many pts , carers and families have complained, and the safeguarding breaches are obvious to all.
Let alone the unlawful actions and very real potential for convicted violent criminals to be left in charge of the care of hugely distressed and at risk vulnerable pts.

To state as they have that security dont undertake nursing or HCA duties is worse than misleading. It is wholly untruthful.
That this has been allowed to go on for so many years at all A&Es speaks volumes about why MH crisis support is so dire and dangerous at times.

This policy and reality stops ppl seeking help when at severe risk.
Including stopping them from dialling 111 or 999 as ALL NHS sites tell those in MH crisis to do. As they will be taken to A& E.

Camden and Islington have amongst the highest suicide rates in the country year in year out for decades now.
The MH Trust that with UCLH co manages the MH suites where this happens has the highest number of preventable death notices issued by coroners in the country- in almost every one the person who has died has attended one of the 3 A&Es in both boroughs and experienced security guards without enhanced DBS checks undertaking healthcare roles.

In a previous FoI they admitted there was no lawful basis to forcibly remove pts belongings and yet this too happens regularly.
Presumably because they dont want what happens to be filmed.

The potential for abuse and escalation of risk to those in MH crisis is immense.
And either UCLH exec and mgt are unable to connect the dots in their role in traumatising or they consider that saving money in this way is worth the very real harm and increased risks to the most vulnerable.

J Epstein left an annotation ()

By design, not happenchance or other reason. MH patients and any group that is not an obvious unit of production, is considered dispensable. 'Hospitals' are agents of state to dispatch liabilities. Hard for normal people to believe but this is the driver of policy.

Alea left an annotation ()

Think if general public saw how vulnerable pts treated hidden away behind locked doors in A&Es they would be horrified.
That unchecked male security guards are allowed unfettered, unmonitored access to vulnerable women especially, is deeply disturbing.

Its about as far removed from the NHS we think we know and fight for.
Most who endure this treatment arent admitted or deemed to need follow up emphasising just how unlawful these incidents can be.
The CCG who fund it all once stated their 'monitoring ' amounted to ' taking assurances '.
About time the CQC - who regulate this entire department - actually made spot visits, inc out of hrs, and took some action .
And maybe actually spoke directly to those held .