MOBOTIX AG, a leading manufacturer of complete high-resolution IP video systems have released details of a successful project at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust creating the largest MOBOTIX all digital, hi-res CCTV system within any NHS facility to help protect over a million people.
The solution designed and implemented by Check Your Security Ltd (CYS), a MOBOTIX Advanced Partner, replaces an aging analogue system and is part of a highly integrated platform including, barrier entry help in number plate recognition and VoIP based help points across the 87,770 square metres campus in Westcliff-on-Sea near Southend. The legacy CCTV system was old and offered poor image quality, especially at night, hampering the accurate identification and safety of over a million staff, patients and visitors who use the hospital every year.
As the hospital is in operation 24/7, 365 days a year, there are always people on-site so the Trust looks at CCTV in a totally different way as compared to most commercial enterprises. Rather than being installed for the prime protection of "Property", its primary focus was on the protection of "People" and includes surveillance across the full perimeter, all entry and exit points for both vehicle and foot traffic, as well as key transit points to ensure their safety and well being. The selection of MOBOTIX based technology and integrator Check Your Security Ltd followed an exhaustive multi-month tender and evaluation process including meetings with numerous local and national suppliers and manufacturers as well as site visits to similar environments. The 18-month project was completed in stages; initial parts have been operational across the site without any issues for seven months.
As Kevin Chinnery, Head of Security for Southend NHS trust commented: "We were impressed by MOBOTIX's camera system with its 3 megapixel images, two-way audio, PoE capability, low light performance and ability to work in any environment without the need for housing, heaters or fans. The addition of a full surveillance software suite included with the product was also a significant cost saving for us."
In respect to implementation, Chinnery added: "Check Your Security was chosen because of their clear, concise and unbiased representation of the products they put forward. On our site visits, we saw examples of how they had helped other organisations with very similar requirements and they came highly recommended."
The project goes beyond simple CCTV surveillance and CYS has integrated MOBOTIX cameras into the Help Point voice call system, which is a Cisco Call Manager compatible Help Point system, vehicle barriers and door access control systems to reduce the management overheads for site security staff. With no moving parts within the cameras and a completely digital capture and storage system, the Trust is also estimating a significant increase in reliability of the CCTV system. "The quality of our CCTV is also reducing some of our insurance costs, especially around our car parking which has been awarded Park Mark® status," explains Chinnery.
The Southend University Hospital project goes beyond simple CCTV surveillance
With a 25 strong site security team, the CCTV also needed to be easily accessible and able to deliver evidential quality images. To meet this need, CYS created integrated sitemaps to instantly pull up all cameras in an incident area at the touch of a button. Footage is stored in a highly fault tolerant and tamper proof 80TB NAS storage cluster and can be quickly searched and copied onto removable media for use by the police if needed. "Many people think of CCTV as just a security measure," explains Chinnery. "But we have also used it to find a confused elderly patient who wandered out of a ward, to ascertain the cause of several traffic accidents in a car park, for staffing issues and to help the police in several on-going investigations."
With the Hospital constantly evolving, Chinnery believes the selection of MOBOTIX and CYS gives the Trust a lot of scope. "The project has been deemed a tremendous success by everybody at the hospital and gives us a solid platform to grow and adapt if and when or needs change," he concludes.
The project uses a mixture of technologies including networking equipment from Cisco, storage appliances from Overland Technology and integration systems from Netgenium.