PATIENTS and staff at Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital are to be further protected by new on site security guards.
Extra security measures costing £120,000 are already set to be introduced at the hospital after a man tried to strangle a nurse to death.
Staff members have confirmed to Monmouth MP David Davies that there will now be a physical security presence at night and during weekends.
All sites run by Aneurin Bevan Health Board are currently undergoing a security and delivery review following the incident at Nevill Hall Hospital last year.
Royston Jones, aged 39 from Brynmawr, attacked his wife Claire in the intensive care unit where she worked. He was convicted of attempted murder at Newport Crown Court in February and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Mr Davies said the gravity of what happened had caused “real fear” amongst staff for their safety and urged the health board to look at introducing tighter security.
Stage one of the review, which focussed on the physical security of the building, CCTV and access control systems, has been completed.
£120,000 will be used to improve current security measures.
The next stage of the review looked at the needs and potential requirements for a physical security presence.
“I understand staff members have received an email informing them that security guards will be on site at night and weekends, starting immediately,” said Mr Davies.
“I very much welcome this news. While CCTV cameras do act as a deterrent and might be able to solve crimes after they have occurred, they are certainly not as effective as a physical presence.
“I have been in A&E as a member of the public, once with an ill child, and witnessed abusive and intimidating behaviour by patients. Sadly, in a lot of London hospitals, it is normal for security staff to be employed at busy periods.
“It is a great shame that such steps need to be taken and we have been forced to think about tightening security in our local hospitals, even in an area like Abergavenny.”