The introduction of body cameras at the Horton follows a successful trial at the John Radcliffe Hospital that began in January.
Originally worn just by security staff, designated medical staff at the Horton will also wear body cameras to keep themselves and patients safe.
The cameras, introduced from today (Monday), are smaller than a smartphone and are worn to create a safer environment for everyone.
In addition to hopefully preventing this type of behaviour, the cameras will also help to identify and prosecute any offenders.
“Frontline staff on shift, who have been provided with training, will wear the camera on their uniform in clear view. The camera will only be switched on when an individual is being violent or abusive and only after they’ve been told that they’re about to be recorded,” said a spokesman.
The body camera trial is part of the wider ‘No Excuses’ campaign, which launched earlier this year following a sharp rise in reported incidents around violence and aggression towards OUH staff.Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH, said: “The body camera trial at the John Radcliffe Hospital has been a success, particularly with our staff – over 96 per cent of our staff in the Emergency Department agree with the need for body cameras following the trial.
“We will now use these cameras at the Horton General Hospital. I would like to remind people to treat our staff with respect – they continue to work incredibly hard in challenging circumstances to keep you, your family members and their colleagues safe after a very difficult two years.
“Abuse towards our staff is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Abuse takes many forms – it doesn’t have to be physical violence. Verbal abuse and aggression can be just as damaging, and can take a huge toll on someone’s wellbeing – in time, this wears people down and can potentially lead to increased sickness and absence.”
Terry Roberts, Chief People Officer at OUH, said: “Our staff have been absolutely incredible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; consistently putting the needs of our patients before their own; and every member of our dedicated and hardworking staff has the fundamental right to be safe at work and it is our priority to eliminate violence and abuse.
“Violent and aggressive behaviour, be that against our staff or other patients or visitors, has absolutely no place in our hospitals and will not be tolerated.”
“As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step in ensuring patients feel safe too.”
In January, the ‘No Excuses’ campaign was launched after trust bosses revealed that aggressive behaviour was increasing in its four hospitals.
In November 2020, there were 80 reported incidents in the trust’s hospitals around violence and aggression. In November 2021, this figure had more than doubled to 180.