St. James’s Hospital

The Background
St. James’s Hospital went to the market in 2011 seeking a Security Partner to assist the hospital with an improvement in their Security strategy and to support the development of optimum security procedures and the implementation of these procedures.

SAR Group are proud to have been chosen by St. James’s Hospital, Ireland’s largest Academic Hospital, to work in partnership to achieve this vision. SAR Group’s experience and long track record as a stable and reliable Security Service provider in multiple industries across Ireland confirmed to St James’s Hospital that we have the longevity and quality of service provision to maintain excellence in service delivery for the duration of the contract.

The Strategy
Healthcare environments are unique and dynamic and Security Management Services operating in this environment are required to be agile and responsive. This is particularly true at St. James’s Hospital, with a geographical spread of 60 acres, numerous buildings, 4,500 staff and a footfall of approximately 10,00 per day, SAR Group in conjunction with St. James’s Hospital, developed holistic Security Strategies adopting a blending of physical Security presence, advanced Security technology solutions and a refined balance of overt and covert security following a robust site risk assessment and review. Core to the Strategy was the views and perception of existing services by Hospital staff which was used to develop quality improvement plans.

One of the key findings of the risk assessment and client survey was the issue of perimeter protection and traffic congestion. The installation of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), enabled the Security team to control all vehicle access and egress from the Hospital’s Security Hub.

The Solution included the development of an authorized user data base which was populated with vehicle registrations of all approved vehicles including Hospital staff, Emergency vehicles and public transport, all of which had automated access through reading the vehicle registration number. The number of vehicles entering the site reduced by 2,000 per day resulting in the elimination of all traffic congestion on campus.

Physical Presence
One of the key objectives of the Security Strategy at St. James’s Hospital was to improve on the physical presence of Security on the Hospital Campus. Under the direction of the St. James’s Hospital FM Operations Manager, SAR Group developed options that would significantly improve Security presence while not impacting on cost.

A three pronged approach was developed and successfully implemented which included the following:

1. A review of static guard locations was undertaken and officers were redeployed to high visual impact zones, in addition their roles took on a concierge role which was another value add for the Hospital.
2. A bespoke uniform was developed that presented a professional and contemporary security service while ensuring it was practical for officers and visually recognizable. The uniform also had a positive impact on staff morale.
3. The introduction of branded Mountain Bikes had significant impact in terms of presence and the increased number of patrols achievable.

All of the above has significantly improved security presence and resulted in positive feedback from staff, patients and visitors.




Co-Development of Training Programme for Healthcare Security Officers
SAR, in partnership with St. James’s Hospital and the Cavan Institute, developed a training programme for Security officers, tailored to the needs of a healthcare environment.

This specialised course is the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, it enables Security officers to develop the skills required to carry out a security function in a healthcare setting such as a hospital, nursing home, clinic or primary care centre. The role of a security officer in a healthcare setting merges the skills of a conventional security officer with specific additional skills that would be essential to work in a healthcare setting. As well as a structured programme of induction at St. James’ Hospital, this course features work experience at the hospital as well as on the job training in new generation technologies by SAR Security. Graduates of the course gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be eligible to apply for work in a specialised custodial or healthcare setting, as well as the necessary core skills to work as a security officer in any traditional setting.

The Future
All of the above has significantly improved the security presence on campus and resulted in positive feedback from staff, patients and visitors. SAR provide Security, Traffic Management, Labour and Site Office cleaning on the National Children’s Hospital development for BAM, which is currently under construction on the St. James’s Hospital campus. There are synergies between the hospital and construction site, ensuring that the entire campus is safe, secure and monitored at all times.

As the St. James’s Hospital site continues to undergo significant and change, SAR is proud to be St. James Hospital Security Partner.