The use of Body Worn Video Cameras, or bodycams, is becoming a common practice in the security sector, acting as a visible deterrent to those who may cause harm, and a trusted source of evidence should an incident occur. The use of this technology is now being implemented across other sectors to enhance the safety and wellbeing of staff and service users alike.
A number of National Health Service Trusts have started to trial the use of bodycams in a bid to improve the safety of their employees. A report commissioned by NHS Protect, which leads on work to identify and tackle crime across the health service, has recorded an increase in the number of assaults suffered by their staff across the country and health sectors during the five years 2010- 2015. During 2014/15 the NHS recorded 67,864 assaults on staff with only 1,679 – equating to less than 2.5% – of those incidents resulting in recorded criminal sanctions.
Whilst patient confidentiality will always be of paramount concern to those delivering health and social care, the safety of those delivering this specialist service needs to be weighed against this. Research has indicated that the presence of a camera will often be sufficient to cause a would-be assailant to modify their behaviour, therefore reducing the number of incidents and assaults arising in the first instance.
Using a visible device, such as a B-Cam camera with its distinctive yellow label, provides this deterrent factor without compromising privacy. The caregiver’s body worn camera will only operate when activated, therefore not inappropriately recording personal and protected data. Once activated, a light on the camera will ensure those being filmed are also aware that recording is taking place. B-Cam cameras have been designed by security professionals to ensure they are not just high-quality video and audio recording devices, but are also durable and user friendly.
All B-Cam devices have a tamperproof design meaning that data cannot be removed from the device nor can the unit be easily destroyed, protecting the chain of evidence should an incident have occurred but also ensuring that any patient or service user information that’s recorded is secure and inaccessible without the relevant B-Cam software to download the video and audio recordings.
The emotional and physical demands of working in health and social care are significant but the application of this secure camera technology can provide vital reassurance and enhance the safety of all those who work in this critical sector.