HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 cc438-9W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if health trusts are given an allocation of their budgets to fund security staff for hospital accident and emergency departments. [47524]

Ms Blears

Security and safety of staff, patients and property in the national health service is of great importance to the Government. It is for health authorities in partnership with primary care trusts and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services.

Security is provided in trusts by 'in-house' staff or by private security organisations. The method of provision and level of staffing is a matter for individual trusts dependent on the size of the hospital, the locality, staffing levels and the general configuration of the building.

Guidance on effective management of security in accident and emergency departments was issued by the NHS Executive in 1997 and was an important aspect of the Government strategy when funding the upgrading of A and E departments.