St Vincent’s Psychiatric Hospital

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview, operates within the catchment area of North Dublin. It mainly caters for psychiatric patients. There are 60 adult in-patient beds and 6 adolescent beds. This number is due to increase shortly.

Day services on the site include:

  • Out-patient services:
    • Crannog Day Hospital
    • Substance Abuse Clinics
    • Child and Adolescent Services
    • Psychiatry of Old Age
  • In-patient services:
    • Admissions Unit St. Louise’s
    • Adolescent Inpatient Unit
    • Psychiatry of Old Age
    • Care of the Elderly
    • Rehab Unit
    • There is also an acute unit which can be volatile.

Security staff are required to perform a number of duties, which include:

  • Clamping in order to handle the car park system.
  • Installing increased CCTV coverage.
  • Driving the buggy and trailer to deliver meals from the Main Hospital Catering Department to the Community Unit.
  • Delivery of internal post and files to various units on the hospital campus.
  • Providing reception cover to St. Louise’s as required.
  • Testing of all personal alarms on a daily basis.
  • Providing extra security personnel to the main reception while a security officer regularly tests the alarms.
  • Spreading salt as required.
  • Clearing snow during the inclement weather
  • Any extra personnel provided are dedicated site-trained SAR employees.

Our security officers are adaptable and understand that should any additional duties arise, security or otherwise, they are fully committed to take them on board.

The security personnel required for this location must be of an exceptional calibre and are required to have special skills. Constant reviewing of their ability, service and communication skills are vital. Today, there is a mature, stable and dedicated team of security officers at St. Vincent’s Psychiatric Hospital. Most of them are long term, having gained experience and training over the years to deal with any incident, should one arise. Communication between hospital staff and security officers is highly important as it strengthens the hospital employee’s confidence in them, especially when they are placed in vulnerable situations. There is also a high level of interaction with both patients and other security officers also, especially at shift-change. Vital information regarding what happened on the previous shift must be relayed to the relieving officer, both verbally and written.

Panic Alarm

Security Officers must attend to all panic alarm activation’s and respond immediately to the situation. On arrival to the situation, a sense of calm must be created so as not to make a potentially bad situation worse. At times, they should present overtly, while most times, a covert stand-off approach is required. The ability to decide on which option is best comes from experience in dealing with these situations. Staff must have confidence in the officers. This confidence comes from quick responses to panic alarms and their ability to remain calm and take charge of a situation.


All officers are given an explanation and understanding of mental illness, and are made aware of the typical patient profiles. They are also made aware of the family and visitor profiles, some of whom can be regarded as upset or as disturbed as the patients themselves. This briefing comes from the nursing staff.

Some patients/clients who present themselves at the hospital want to be admitted for various reasons, for example because they want to hide out, they feel ill or for a feeling of security. Some may not be admitted and will have to be escorted off the grounds. Security officers never form an opinion, give advice or offer alternative treatment centres, as they are not medically qualified.

It is vital that the security officer understand the full type and profile of the client – this can only be gained through on the job experience and training.