“This project won on a commendation for the Hospital Security Award at the 2018 Health Business Awards.”
“Protecting hospital staff is paramount and should always be seen as a core function within NHS trusts. The efforts of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust in providing extra CCTV surveillance across its nine mental health units will help to not only deter threats, but potentially lead to advanced staff safety and morale. We were highly impressed by the intentions of the trust to prioritise the safety of its staff, patients and visitors and look forward to hearing about its further successes in 2019.” says Michael Lyons, editor of Health Business magazine
Three years after its original decision to single source video monitoring solutions from Hanwha Techwin, the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is now investing in the latest Wisenet camera and recording technology to help create a safe environment for patients, staff and visitors within its mental health units.
Over 380 Wisenet X H.265 network cameras have recently been installed at 9 mental health units located throughout the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust estate. These are in addition to the large numbers of earlier generation Wisenet cameras which were installed at 19 other units during previous phases of the project.
“We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the price of the Wisenet X cameras is lower than the older models which they supersede and yet they deliver superior performance and enhanced feature sets,” said Mark Milliard, Capital Projects Manager at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. “It was an easy decision therefore to deploy various Wisenet X models throughout the 9 mental health units.”
The safety of its staff, patients and visitors is fundamentally important to the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and it needs to be able to constantly and unobtrusively monitor patient activity.
The Trust, which currently provides care for over 40,000 people with mental health problems, offers a range of specialist services that are dedicated to the care and recovery of anyone experiencing mental ill health or substance misuse issues across Norfolk and Suffolk. Although some of the mental health units are secure, the majority allow the free movement of patients.
“We are committed to the Safewards’ initiative, whose key aim is to reduce the rates of conflict within in-patient mental health settings,” said Mark Milliard, “We believe that the use of smart technology, such as IP network based video monitoring systems, can play a large role in helping us achieve this objective.”
Migration to IP
Mark, who has worked within NHS Estates since 1986, has over recent years overseen the migration of the Trust’s analogue CCTV systems to IP network based solutions.
“The analogue systems which were installed a number of years ago became increasingly unreliable and we made the decision to upgrade them with IP network based systems,” explained Mark. “A key advantage of being able to transmit images over the network is that it provides the flexibility for any authorised user to view live or recorded video captured by any of the cameras from their PCs. We realised that this would provide us with much more flexibility in terms of how we monitor activity at the mental health units, compared to the analogue CCTV systems which could only transmit captured images to a central location.”
“It made sense to source the cameras from just one manufacturer and from an ongoing maintenance point of view, to deploy the minimum possible number of different camera models,” said Mark. “I decided to carry out my own research as to which manufacturer had a product portfolio which could best cover all our requirements, as well as offering us the value we were looking for. Part of the value formulae had to include a rock solid reputation for reliability, as well as cameras with advanced technical features which would allow us to capture and monitor high definition images, regardless of the location or environmental conditions.”
Mark’s extensive evaluation of a large number of manufacturers resulted in a shortlist of two, from which Hanwha Techwin emerged as the winner.
“Both companies were able to show evidence as to the reliability of their cameras,” said Mark. “However, I was particularly impressed with the quality of the images which could be captured by the Wisenet cameras and the fact that each camera, depending on its location, could be configured to multi-stream images at different frame rates and at different resolutions. This offers a significant benefit from a network bandwidth management point of view.”
The majority of the cameras installed at the 9 mental health units are Wisenet XNV-6080R two megapixel vandal-resistant network domes which have built-in IR illumination and utilise H.265 compression to minimise bandwidth and video storage requirements.
Equipped with the world’s best 150dB Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology and the world’s best motorised varifocal F0.94 low light lens, Wisenet X cameras such as the XNV-6080R, are supercharged by the most powerful DSP chipset ever incorporated into a full camera range. Together, these features ensure superb quality colour images are captured, regardless of the environment or the time of day.
The processing power of the Wisenet X chipset also provides the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust with the option to run multiple on-board third-party analytics applications.
Also among the Wisenet X cameras recently installed are a number of XNP-6370R two megapixel 37x network IR PTZ domes which allow operators to zoom into observe close up detail of any activity. In addition, a number of Wisenet XNF-8010R 4 megapixel 360° fisheye and Wisenet PNM-9020V 7.3 megapixel 180° panoramic cameras have been installed, in order to efficiently reduce the number of cameras which would normally be needed to monitor wide open areas within the mental health units.
Network Video Recording
Images from all the recently installed cameras are being recorded onto Wisenet XRN-1610S Network Video Recorders (NVRs). With 4HDDs, the XRN-1610S offers a potential on-board storage capacity of up to 24TB, with additional storage possible via e-SATA. It also supports WiseStream, a complementary compression technology which dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement in the image. Bandwidth efficiency is improved by up to 75% compared to current H.264 technology when WiseStream is combined with H.265 compression.
“There is nothing wrong with the earlier generation of Wisenet cameras which we currently continue to use at most of the mental health units, but there is no doubt that the Wisenet X models are making it even easier for us to maintain a relaxed and secure working environment for our colleagues whilst keeping our patients safe,” added Mark Milliard. “Over the coming months we will continue our programme of updating the systems at other mental health units and in this respect, we have decided to continue to single source the cameras and recording devices from Hanwha Techwin.”