DESPITE over 630 assaults on staff at Hillingdon Hospital over the last three years, security officers are expected to work alone.

It has been exposed that 'on a significant number of occasions only one security officer is on duty throughout the hospital for a 12 hour shift' according to a Health and Safety Executive report.

The HSE investigated the hospital after a number of complaints about security officers working alone and have ordered the hospital to clean up its act.

The lack of consideration given to their security teams was revealed six months after the Gazette revealed there had been 633 assaults against members of staff at Hillingdon Hospital in the last three years.

The HSE ordered an enforcement notice to the hospital, in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, requiring them to make necessary changes by November 30.

The HSE investigation into the hospital revealed that "The risks posed to the individual security officer in relation to violence and aggression had not been fully assessed."

After an investigation, the hospital was found to be breaching two Health and Safety conventions.

As part of the improvement measures, the hospital has been instructed to draw up an action plan and full risk assessment to its security measures which must satisfy the HSE by the end of the month.

The black mark against the hospital will remain on the HSE register for the next five years, but the hospital insist meeting the requirements has been given 'high priority'.

Sue Batty, director of estates and facilities said: "The action plan shortly to be submitted to the Health and Safety Executive has been made a high priority by the Trust in carefully risk assessing all tasks carried out by security officers.

"This details those tasks that need a minimum of two security officers and examines the total number of security guards required on each shift to meet higher demands currently being placed on the service.

"The Facilities Management have fully supported always having a minimum of two security guards on duty at one time to avoid lone working and in the event of unforeseen sickness absence every endeavour is made to cover shifts using appropriately trained bank or agency workers.

"The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust are working on the action plan closely with their Security Officers and their Local Security Management Specialist who provide professional skills and expertise to address these issues."

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