UK Hospitals Benefit from Network Surveillance Solution

Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust benefit from network video surveillance for high-quality digital recordings and external surveillance monitoring.

IP video distributor Controlware supplied a surveillance system to Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals. Working in partnership with installers Central Security Systems and Runnymede Borough Council, the surveillance recording system is an extension of the Borough Council's surveillance network that monitors video from more than 200 cameras.

With a population exceeding 82,000 Runnymede Borough Council is committed to reducing crimes and increasing public safety. To help meet these aims, the council moved to a new purpose building 24-hour control center in 2008. Across the borough, surveillance was upgraded to take advantage of digital transmission, management, recording and all the benefits that IP-based surveillance systems can bring. Today Runnymede Borough Council's control centre provides central operations for intruder and fire alarms, lone worker security, disaster recovery services and borough wide surveillance that record more than 20,000 incidents a year. Last year the Safer Runnymede system was honored with Government Business magazine's Public Sector Security award for delivering improved security services to the borough. It is as part of Runnymede Borough Council's continuous program of development that the surveillance system at Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals has been upgraded.

The council network includes a mixture of both analog and network cameras with numerous sites linked over broadband. The hospitals are connected over Ethernet via a high-capacity fiber backbone that consists of four fiber pairs connected back to the central control centre. Previously surveillance system at the Hospitals was recorded to video tapes which required ongoing maintenance to keep changing the tapes in order to keep the system recording.

Today the recording process is wholly digital, ruling out the possibility of losing recordings through human error and making instances such as tapes running out or not being swapped over in time a thing of the past. Working with installation partner Central Security Systems, codecs were installed to encode video from more than 64 analog cameras situated around the hospital. The video is digitally recorded locally at the hospitals. It is connected to the control center, so operators and police can review archived video from any seven cameras at a time in the Borough Council control center.

The new solution makes operation and maintenance easier. The hospitals are able to save costs by retaining investment in their existing 64 analog cameras by using 16-channel codecs instead of replacing their cameras. Access to archive video is faster, more secure and it is easier to search for specific incidents. Support for expansion of storage capacity and reliability is also assured as new cameras are added to the network and the hospital's recording requirements evolve in the future.

Staff, patients and visitors benefit from improved security thanks to fast access to recorded video at the hospital and remotely at the Borough Council control center. This is a significant improvement on the previous system where video could only be monitored at the hospitals, enabling extra resources to monitor the video. Time-consuming searches of multiple video tapes to look for specific incidents are also a thing of the past, saving time and improving operator productivity.

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