Axis Security – the combined manpower and technology provider – has dramatically increased the volume of business being handled for the Manchester NHS Primary Care Trust, becoming the sole supplier of electronic systems and managing the Trust’s CCTV and Access Control upgrade.
Indeed its success has been such that not only has the team been recognised with a national award, but it has also been chosen to take on a further significant security project for the neighbouring NHS Salford. The contract has been awarded as a ‘shared resource’ between NHS Manchester & Salford, specifically providing account management and mobile support.
Axis Security has been a key partner of Manchester NHS Primary Care Trust since 2005. In that time, it has expanded its service delivery from an 84-hour per week manned guarding presence, to a broad range of security services across the PCT buildings throughout Greater Manchester.
It now provides some 1,600 plus hours per week of static manned guarding, mobile patrols and keyholding, comprising a team of more than 30 officers tasked with protecting people, patients and property including hospitals, clinics and administrative buildings.
As well as physical security, Axis Security is also now the sole supplier of electronic security systems, with a particular focus on CCTV and Access Control.
However, it was with the high profile Flu and Swine Flu outbreaks last year that Axis Security achieved more widespread recognition for its ‘value add’, after it was tasked with safeguarding the PCT’s stockpile of antiviral medicines and vaccination drugs. The role provided a new challenge, according to Axis Security’s Account Manager Gary Watkin:
“The security team had to manage and control the mobile distribution of the medicines, while also supporting the NHS staff in controlling infected flu patients in designated flu centres,” he says. “We were on the frontline delivering the much needed vaccines, while also working to control the spread of the Flu viruses on site. It was quite a task.”
Gary says that they had to increase the manned guarding and patrolling presence, and took on additional support officers to cope with the demand: “The vaccines were of huge importance to the PCT and therefore our security measures reflected this,” he adds.
Nick Brice, the Local Security Management Specialist for Manchester NHS Primary Care Trust, says that the Trust is benefiting from having a single point of contact: “Having a smaller number of larger providers affords us greater control and significant cost benefits,” he says.
“Axis Security was one of the only companies capable of providing an integrated approach to security,” he adds, “and the only company to meet – and actually exceed – the criteria in our tender. It was a key reason for nominating the team for the National Team of the Year award at this year’s Axis Security Awards.”
A particular feature of the relationship is the co-location of the Axis Security Account Manager, Gary Watkin, with Nick Brice and his team at Estates Head Office at Mauldeth House. Any potential issues can therefore be immediately acted upon, which is of significant benefit to the PCT, as Nick concludes: “The experience of the Trust’s standards and requirements that Gary brings benefits not only the team here, but also the security provision on the ground. It really makes the difference.”
The Axis Security team now provides mobile patrols to approximately 35 PCT sites within Manchester, which includes a short stay security presence for clinics open in the evening. The static guarding also now covers out-of-hours property security and short notice assignments whenever a site needs a presence in dealing with high-risk patients.