Security | Security Officer

Malcolm and Scott

What is your role?
Malcolm: “It’s about securing the building and the site. We’ll cover miles each shift, walking about the site. We carry phones on us at all times and we will get calls on these to incidents throughout the day, as Scott says. We also lock and unlock doors, we patrol the site and we provide reassurance to staff on shift by being present on departments, dropping in, seeing how they are going.

“People often think Friday night will be the busiest but I find it’s a Monday or Tuesday daytime which you might find busiest. You’ve got people who have been brought here by ambulance, people who didn’t expect to be here and once they’ve been discharged they expect the hospital will transport them home. We can’t do this and so they complain and we are alerted to come and talk to the patient and, if necessary, lead them off site.”

Scott: “I’ve been involved in security for more than 20 years now. I’ve done pubs and clubs, on the door; I’ve done private security and this seemed like a different step for me. I enjoy this job, I enjoy the variety and the location. It’s quite common that where we are involved, the police are too and here at the hospital if we call the police, they know we need assistance; they know it’s genuine. Violence is simply not tolerated here.

“We get trained how to control and restrain here; the goal is conflict resolution. But a lot of the time, when we are called, something has already gone wrong and we are simply going to sort the aftermath out. But when there is violence or aggression, we will talk to the person. If that doesn’t work we can restrain them so they are no longer a threat to themselves or anyone else and then we will call the police. We have a good rapport with the police and that is a real plus.”

Why did you want to do this job?
Malcolm: “I like how much we work as a team here. You know, I’ve worked pub doors and you’re on your own to some degree and people are looking at me, seeing I’m bald and I’ve got tattoos and they see a target and it’s often straight ejection. But here at the hospital, it’s never that straight forward. I feel far more proud of the work I do here; it’s the job satisfaction I get from helping staff and the public. It feels like we are appreciated.”

Scott: “We are here to provide a safe and secure environment for patients, staff and visitors. There are 13 security staff, split into four teams. These teams always work together over a variety of shifts, usually 12 hour shifts, either days or nights. The result is 24-hour coverage, 365 days a year.

“A big part of the work is responding to emergency calls. A ward or department calls us and they might have a patient, a visitor, maybe a relative kicking off for whatever reason. If it’s a patient, they could be aggressive or violent and it’s not always the patient’s fault: they could be elderly or confused for example. We don’t often know until we get there. It is our responsibility then to resolve the situation and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

What do you like about working at Derby Teaching Hospitals in particular?
Malcolm: “It’s the variety of the job. You come in each day and you don’t know what you’re going to get. Your phone goes off and you’re called somewhere and until you get there you don’t know if you’ve got a ten-man fight or if there’s an elderly, confused patient waiting. The adrenaline kicks in and you have to think on your feet. It’s a constantly interesting job, here at the hospital.

“There’s also a real sense of recognition. We have Pride of Derby awards, nominated by staff or patients to staff who they feel have done something special. And we’ve come in on shift before and seen two brown envelopes waiting on the table, thought, ‘oh, no, that’s not good’ but found, when we’ve opened them up, that we’ve been awarded Pride of Derby certificates. That feels great.”

Scott: “People assume all we get is grief; that we are constantly turning up into situations where people will call us names and all that. But it’s not always that. Sometimes you just make a trip to a ward and department just to show people that you’re there, make them feel safe. And the part I love about working at the hospital here is that people say thank you. You might have stopped or ejected someone who was threatening the staff and they say thank you for doing that, it’s made me feel safe. That makes it all worthwhile.”

Why did you decide to take part in the programme?
Scott: “I’m prepared for some of the banter I’m sure I’ll get for this but I wanted to show what we are about. A lot of people don’t associate hospitals with security work. I wanted to show that we care as much as the doctors and nurses for patients, visitors and staff. We get called when something has gone wrong; up until our arrival people will have been given the option to leave and we simply make sure everyone is safe and secure. It will be nice to give people an insight into how al that works.”

Malcolm: “I’m proud of what I do and I think people see me, see a big guy with tattoos and a bald head and they make their conclusions but I’m not like that. I wanted the chance to show that, to show me at work doing a job I love.”

How was it working with the cast and crew?
Malcolm: “It was daunting at first, definitely. It was hard not to end up looking at the camera but as soon as you do, that’s it; they have to start again. The funny thing was when they followed us on patrol: we’d go to a ward or a department and normally people will come and talk to us and there’d be all these people around. We got there with the camera crew and – deserted. Everyone vanished at the sight.”

Scott: “It definitely took some getting used to but once we had got to know the crew and what they were trying to do, it got a lot easier. When we were called to an emergency they would be with us and I would be waiting for them, trying to hold doors and they would say, ‘no, go on, just go as fast as you would normally, we’ll sort ourselves out, that’s up to us’. That sort of attitude summed them up – they didn’t want to impede on our jobs at all.

“They were with us for hours at a time, eight hours straight once. I remember one night they were with us until 3am and nothing much was happening. They left and maybe half an hour later there was a full-scale scrap started in A&E. They were dedicated but this really is a 24-hour job.”

How do you think viewers will react to the programme – especially the parts you appear in?
Malcolm: “I hope people see another side to the security blokes; that we’re not just heavies or bouncers because it’s a bigger job than that. I think people will enjoy seeing different aspects of hospital life, other than doctors and nurses.”

What will you remember most from the experience?
Scott: “I’ll remember how they managed to find out about me and Lee (Testro, A&E Sister featured in the programme). Me and Lee have known each other for 13 years, both come from previous relationships. We’ve always got on but I’d never thought it would ever become anything more than that but here we are; been together three years now.

“The crew must have heard us talking about partners and that and suddenly they were very interested in putting us together on screen. After the filming ended, I proposed. Then they heard about that and had to come back and finish the story off. I think they were mad I hadn’t told them I was going to do it before they’d wrapped up.”