Date icon27 June 2022

Kidderminster Hospital is an acute general hospital in Kidderminster in Worcestershire, England. The facility comprises of clinical facilities and patient accommodation for a wide range of day case, short stay, and inpatient procedures. Alongside this, the hospital also manages a full range of outpatient clinics and a modern education centre with seminar rooms, IT suite, library and break out areas.

The hospital, managed by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust is continually re-developing their premises to offer new services and facilities to both their patients and the community. A new innovation Hub, housed on the Kidderminster Hospital site was to provide a digital space for the development of new technological advances for the wider community and the NHS itself.  

Security is of upmost importance to the Trust to ensure staff and patient safety is maintained across the length and breadth of the Hospital site. Managing the daily flow of people and monitoring high security areas are all managed by the latest access control and CCTV technology. The Innovation Hub was no different and required the same levels of security to ensure that there were no gaps in security across the full Hospital site. As such, Worcestershire Acute turned to security specialists TouchStar ATC to specify the new system, managing the full process, from specifying and planning, through to installation, training, handover, and ongoing support of the final solution.  

Requirement  

TouchStar’s access control system was already widely used within the Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust, however there was now a need to extend this system to cover the new Digital Innovation hub. The system was required to manage and authorise staff and visitor entry to the hub itself. Alongside this, a new standalone CCTV system was also required that would safeguard staff and secure the premises from theft, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour.  

For the CCTV, Worcestershire Acute were looking for high resolution internal cameras that would integrate the latest CCTV technology. The cameras would be required to provide a visible deterrent within both the busy and public areas of the innovation hub. A key objective was the ability to capture clear images, particularly in respect to the face, should evidentiary footage every be required.  

Cate Burns, Project Manager for the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust worked alongside TouchStar ATC to manage the project commenting, “As a trust, we were looking to leverage our existing security systems to maximise security at the new hub. As TouchStar ATC were already our incumbent supplier for access control, it made sense to talk to them about how we could scale up our existing system to cover the new building. They also discussed our requirements for CCTV, making the recommendations that would best fit our needs. In TouchStar, we had absolute confidence that they would be able to offer us a reliable and quality solution, something that is fundamentally important to us here within the Trust”.

Implementation  

TouchStar worked alongside Worcestershire Acute throughout the project, assigning a dedicated Project Manager and Installations Engineer to oversee both the Access Control and CCTV works.

Once the initial recommendations had been approved and signed off, a period of testing and risk assessments were conducted within the Innovation Hub prior to the installation. TouchStar worked hand in hand with the Trust to develop the infrastructure for an effective deployment that successfully minimised disruption within the premises.  

Solution  

Access Control  

The new installation saw Worcestershire Acute extend the use of their existing access control system into the new hub. The system, which comprises of TouchStar’s Evolution Access Control Hardware and Software was to provide a means of authorised entry for staff and permitted visitors.    

At the core of the access control system was TouchStar’s Evolution software. TouchStar’s in house software, “Evolution” provides Worcestershire Acute with a modular based access control system. Designed around an IP addressable controller, the specified proximity card system integrated directly into the trust’s existing network.  

As part of the installation, TouchStar installed the RX1 Proximity reader. The ELITE series reader provided a robust and durable solution that was proven as both quick and easy to install. The reader, with built in keypad, was a perfect fit for the new hub, providing card entry for staff and time sensitive keypad entry for visitors. In addition to the readers, TouchStar installed additional exit buttons ensuring safe and secure exiting of the building.  

The extension of the door control system from other buildings within the trust allowed TouchStar to facilitate the use of the Trust’s existing proximity cards, this meant that one proximity card provided authorised access to both the innovation hub and other buildings on site. The utilisation of existing cards eliminated the administrative difficulties of distributing new access cards to staff, allowing for a more efficient system rollout.  

CCTV  

The new standalone CCTV system was specified to provide state of the art, monitored, CCTV coverage across the hub. TouchStar recommended HIK Vision’s Smart Solution which offered Worcestershire Acute the ability to capture and store the encrypted high-resolution footage that was required.  

The low light fixed dome cameras that were installed offered superior picture quality and were particularly suited to the internal environment of which they were required for. Benefiting from the existing coaxial cabling, TouchStar were able to offer a cost-effective installation of the overall solution.  

The solution was enhanced further by the CCTV system monitoring that was commissioned as part of the installation. CCTV monitoring would ensure the hub would be fully safeguarded and protected, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The monitoring can be fully managed and controlled remotely by central security who would have full visibility of the operation and triggered alerts of any incidents.  

Results and Benefits  

With TouchStar engineers on hand to test, commission and provide training on the final installation, the system has now been fully rolled out across the site.  

Cate continues, “We did experience a few challenges during the implementation phase, however TouchStar were on hand throughout, providing their expertise and solutions to ensure we overcame the network issues we had experienced. We were really impressed with their positive “can do” attitude and couldn’t recommend TouchStar any more for their contribution, from their Project Management through to the final solution. There is no doubt that we will continue to work with TouchStar on future projects.”.  

Since the installation, Worcestershire Acute are now in the process of building a new server to ensure a more robust and futureproof network. The new server will not only provide better support to existing systems but allow them the potential to develop the system for other areas within the Trust.  

TouchStar’s systems also continue to evolve, with further growth and development of both the hardware and the portfolio of solutions. This will ensure that Worcestershire Acute will continue to invest in a solution that will meet their needs both now and into the future.