Bodycam programs for paramedics in the U.K. expanded after successful trial
After earlier trials in London and the North East which showed the usefulness of bodycams in a healthcare setting, further regions in the U.K. also implement bodycam solutions for their paramedics. The decision is backed up by research showing overall reductions in incidents and their seriousness.
Earlier in the year we wrote about the successful trailing of bodycams for paramedics in London and the North East. After consecutive years of increasing incidents of aggression and abuse, it was deemed necessary to implement bodycam solutions. Now, after a successful period of implementation, other regions like the Midlands West join the movement with their own bodycam solutions. The choice for bodycams is backed up by research which shows clear results in terms of an overall reduction of incidents and the seriousness of those incidents.
Bodycam programs for Paramedics in Midlands West
The significant rise in assaults over the last few years have led to paramedics in the U.K. trailing and implementing bodycam solutions, in order to combat this worrying trend. As of last week paramedics in Midlands West have joined this movement to better protect frontline ambulance staff from abuse. Trials have shown the positive developments caused by bodycams, with significant reductions in severe or abusive incidents. Furthermore, the bodycams also positively contribute to feelings of safety amongst frontline professionals, as indicated by the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS). The NHS has allocated a million pound budget to increase the safety of paramedics across the U.K., and provide irrefutable, objective evidence when necessary.
“Every member of our dedicated and hardworking NHS staff has the fundamental right to be safe at work and it is our priority to eliminate violence and abuse, which we will not tolerate. As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step towards ensuring our people feel safe too. The fact that we are rolling them out to all ten ambulance trusts three years ahead of schedule is testament to our commitment to tackling this problem and is nothing less than our staff deserve.” – Prerana Isaar Chief People Officer, NHS
Studies show bodycam effectiveness and acceptance in healthcare settings
Studies as far back as 2017 showcase clearly that bodycams are an effective tool to reduce the amount and seriousness of incidents in healthcare generally, whether this is for an ambulance paramedic or a caregiver in a healthcare institution. The study, published in the Mental Health in Family Medicine journal, found that both employees and patients experienced the bodycams as beneficial. The implementation of bodycams resulted in an overall reduction in complaints and serious incidents. The researchers also carefully conclude that the costs of bodycam programs could be offset by the reduction of (serious) incidents, although they call for further research to clarify this.
Another scientific study, conducted in 2019, arrived at the exact same conclusion. Both staff and patients experienced the benefits of a bodycam solution with overall reductions in incidents and especially the seriousness of these incidents. Specifically the ones ranked as most serious dropped from 10 in the period before the bodycam pilot to 0 during the pilot. The research indicated that bodycam technology can help protect healthcare staff by severely reducing the number of abusive or violent incidents. The research further explored the opinions concerning the use of bodycams in a healthcare setting and it was again found that both patients and staff were positive.