Stafford General Hospital selected Axis Communications for the provision of network cameras and video servers in order to extend and update its surveillance system. The selection of a networked surveillance solution rather than a traditional analogue-based Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system saved the hospital more than £42,000 in installation costs alone.
A total of five Axis video servers have been deployed to enable 14 existing analogue cameras to be attached to the network. In addition, seven new Axis network cameras have been deployed across the campus so far.
The decision to upgrade from a CCTV-based security system to IP was made in discussion with network installer Plexnet. Plexnet estimated that extending the CCTV system to include new buildings within the hospital’s campus would have cost some £45,000 more than networking the new surveillance equipment through the existing 1GB Ethernet cabling and established 11 MB wireless links to outlying buildings.
Stafford Hospital installed a 1 GB backbone with two Cisco 6500 core switches linked by 2 GB connection. Twenty Cisco edge switches support Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) for 2,500 regular hospital staff. All this equipment was installed two years ago as the hospital geared up for central NHS IT initiatives such as Integrated Care Records Service (ICRS) and the establishment of Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS), all designed to digitise patient records for easier and more cost efficient storage and distribution of patient records via computer.
Stafford Hospital's security is managed within its 30-strong Portering and Security Services Department which uses DV Networks' discover e-system to view and store images taken from the 21 cameras now deployed in the main hospital building and Technology Park based a kilometre away from the main building. An additional 19 cameras will be deployed as the hospital’s surveillance system is extended across its car parks next month.
Dominic Bruning, managing director, Axis Communications (UK) Limited, explained: "Stafford is a great example of IP being selected over CCTV to utilise existing network infrastructure. The savings at the installation stage are significant and are escalating as the project is extended. IP surveillance also offers Stafford the ability to better manage recording, storage and movement of MJPEG images from the system to the police when incidents occur."
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