South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has agreed to trial Edesix Body Worn Video Cameras to better protect ambulance crews against violence and aggression.
Crews in Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol will wear the Edesix VideoBadge VB-300 Body Worn Cameras during the three-month trial starting on Tuesday 1st October.
The use of cameras is intended to deter abuse and obtain evidence of offences against ambulance crews. If the trial is successful, the cameras could be rolled out across the Trust.
There were 1,285 recorded incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour towards SWASFT staff between August 2018 and August 2019, which is an increase of 24% compared to the previous year.
Ken Wenman, Chief Executive of SWASFT, said:
Any recording not used as evidence will be automatically deleted after 30 days.
Emergency services across the South West launched the #Unacceptable campaign in October 2018 to highlight the increasing levels of abuse against crews and control room staff. The NHS Violence Reduction Strategy 2018 aims to reduce the number of assaults by giving staff more training to deal with violent situations and prosecuting offenders more quickly.
A recently study published by West London NHS Trust showed the wearing of the cameras led to a reduction in the seriousness of aggression and violence in reported incidents and modified patient behaviour in a positive way.
Motorola Solutions are supplying the Edesix VB-300 Body Worn Cameras for the trial.
Fergus Mayne, Country Manager for UK and Ireland at Motorola Solutions, said: “South Western Ambulance Service joins a number of organisations around the world that are looking to video and in particular Body Worn Cameras to improve public safety. We’re extremely proud to be a part of this important trial that will play a vital role in protecting ambulance staff who are on the frontline every day, saving lives.”