Hospital hosts security awareness day

The public heard, last Friday, how Groote Schuur Hospital keeps its staff, patients and property safe from harm.

At a “security awareness day” Vincent Rossouw, the hospital’s head of support, said crime was an inevitable consequence for a facility of its size.

“So we need to ensure that whenever patients come to the hospital they are safe,” he said.

The City’s Safety and Security and Disaster Risk management departments, the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID), hospital security, the police and private security agencies attended the safety-awareness programme, handing out brochures and answering questions from the hospital staff and the public.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the City relied on partnerships including the one it had with a “major player” like Groote Schuur Hospital.

“We make sure we do evacuation plans with you and prepare often on major safety drills,” he said.

Mr Smith praised the neighbourhood watch for keeping schools and communities safe and the GSCID for keeping the area clean and secure.

The GSCID is one of 43 community improvement districts across the city.

Mr Smith said City was committed to keeping the broader community safe, not only the hospital.

“The premier announced that he wants to deploy 3000 new law enforcement officers in the next three years, with 500 starting next year February,” he said.

Warrant Officer Hilton Malila, of Woodstock police, said Groote Schuur Hospital’s security personnel were part of their bi-weekly meetings on “crime-related issues”.

Hospital security notified the police immediately about patients who might pose a threat.

GSCID general manager, Barbara Breedt, said when security companies, police and non-profit organisations stood together they forged “a strong bond in combating crime”.

Chief security officer at the hospital, Sphamandla Ndzuzo, said the awareness day would help to co-ordinate security efforts.

“Everybody who came today was talking one thing which is ‘safety’,” he said. “It is important that we build on those partnerships because whenever we come across those challenges, we know who to contact and how to contact so that we don’t go around being redirected.”