Staff concerns over security changes at Morriston Hospital
Staff at Morriston Hospital say they fear being put at risk, following a decision to change security staffing arrangments.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Univeristy Health Board is in the process of reducing cover at quiet periods, because of budgetary constraints, in order to ensure enough security staff are available at busier times.
The Health Board says the changes will not result in any redundancies.
But some staff have raised concerns that the changes may make them more vulnerable to aggressive patients or visitors.
One Morriston Hospital staff member said: “For a number of years we have had a security presence to protect staff against aggression from members of the public, primarily in A&E, but more recently a growing problem has been aggression from patients on wards who suffer from different forms of confusion.
“ The security personnel have been invaluable, and have avoided in many instances having to resort to calling the police by managing much of the aggression. The police value their presence as they themselves are stretched in dealing with problems across the city.
“There is now a proposal by senior staff in the Health Board to reduce the security presence, purely for financial savings.
“The reason security were employed was because we had a problem with safety for staff. “Nothing has changed, in fact the involvement of security and the police is increasing year on year, so how can the Health Board justify reducing their presence?
“What the Health Board is now doing is increasing the risk to staff and taking that decision based entirely on saving money. It is a disgrace.”
ABMU Health Board however, said there are times when security demands are higher, such as Saturday nights, and those times are being prioritised.
A spokesman said: “Because of the financial situation faced by all public sector bodies, we have had to reduce cover at quiet periods in order to protect cover at busy times.
“Additional staff will also be made available during particularly busy periods, such as the rugby internationals and Christmas.
“The proposed changes will ensure the service is provided in the most efficient and effective way possible without impacting on patient care.”
“It is important to highlight there will be no redundancies as a result of this change. All members of staff have been met individually to discuss the job opportunities available to them and ensure our service continues to benefit from their invaluable skills.”