Mobotix, a manufacturer of HD IP video systems won a project from Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, creating the largest Mobotix all digital, HD surveillance system within any NHS facility to help protect more than a million people.
The solution designed and implemented by Check Your Security (CYS), a Mobotix partner, replaces an aging analog system and is part of an integrated platform including, barrier entry help in LPR and VoIP-based help points across the 87,770-square-meter campus in Westcliff-on-Sea near Southend. The surveillance system was old and offered poor image quality, especially at night, hampering the accurate identification and safety of more than 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 surveillance in a totally different way 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 CYS followed an exhaustive multimonth 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.
“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 a housing, heaters or fans,” said Kevin Chinnery, Head of Security for Southend NHS trust. “The addition of a full surveillance software suite included with the product was also a significant cost saving for us.”
“CYS 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 organizations with very similar requirements and they came highly recommended,” Chinnery said.
The project goes beyond simple surveillance. 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 an increase in reliability of the surveillance system. “The quality of our surveillance is reducing some of our insurance costs, especially around our car parking,” Chinnery said.
With a 25-man site security team, the surveillance also needed to be easily accessible and able to deliver evidential quality images. To meet this need, CYS created integrated sitemaps to 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 storage cluster and can be quickly searched and copied onto removable media for use by the police if needed. “Many people think of surveillance as just a security measure,” Chinnery said, “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.”