Profile Jayne King
Head of Security for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the National Association of Healthcare Security.
With two internationally renowned hospitals, the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust plays a key part in the lives of many Londoners.
Yearly there are more than 96,000 day case patients, 86,000 inpatients, 1.15 million outpatients and nearly 7,000 babies born there.
We met Jayne King, Head of Security, to find out about her and her role. Jayne outlined the approach to security at the Trust, “Our role is to support clinical colleagues to deliver the best care they can by providing a safe, open and accessible environment for our staff, patients and visitors.”
Her aim is clear, “I want to make ours one of the best security services in the health service.” She is making progress towards this; the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) audit found security in A&E to be outstanding. “This is the first time security in the health service has been quoted in a favourable manner. So, we must be doing the right thing,” Jayne told us.
Violence at work
Jayne acknowledges that violence is the most significant problem facing her team in this central London location, with about 1,000 violent incidents per year. Many are due to clinical conditions such as dementia or post-operative psychosis which can impact on a person’s capacity. Of course, in A&E drink and drugs are often a major factor. The Trust also has a role to play in the response to homelessness locally and issues arising from the night-time economy.
Responding to Major incidents
Jayne and her team are very well prepared for a major incident in London. “Given our central location, we would be involved in one way or other.” They have recently implemented an automated support system and, “We conduct exercises regularly, learning something new every time.”
Partnership is key
A partnership approach to all aspects of her work is critical for success for Jayne: “Starting with your security contractors, good partnership is key: being transparent and open.”
As part of the wider community, the Trust hosts the Safer Neighbourhood meetings and is a member of the South Bank Business Watch, South Bank Visitors’ Management Scheme, Safer London Radio Scheme and the London Bridge Safety Forum.
National Association of Healthcare Security (NAHS)
As well as her role at Guy’s and St Thomas’, Jayne became chair of the National Association of Healthcare Security (NAHS) in November.
Set up in the 1990s, NAHS is about sharing information: “Each part of the NHS runs differently, NAHS gives people a chance to network and bounce ideas off each other.”
It has a range of membership facilities, including a Knowledge Library that houses a host of policies and procedures.
Jayne would like the hallmark of her time as chair to be increased NAHS membership and attendance at their conference, with “an engaged membership whose ideas drive the Association forward”. A crucial area to tackle is professional standards in healthcare security, which currently are not mandatory.
Developing security career pathways in healthcare
Jayne is passionate about career development in security. She is clear that a security role in healthcare offers a lot and wants people to see it as a first career choice. “A security role here offers job satisfaction, with complete diversity from one day to another, exposure to a wide range of incidents, autonomy to a certain degree, and the ability to work closely with all parts of the hospital, including safeguarding.”
In Jayne’s view, the skillset required for healthcare security roles differs from those elsewhere. The training for security officers includes physical intervention and conflict resolution, but most importantly for Jayne, “The role here requires high levels of customer service and empathy for people in potentially highly stressful circumstances. This is a service that our families have to use and one day we will have to use, so we want it right.” Jayne is working with the SIA to create a third licence, in addition to door supervisor and security guard, for the healthcare sector to recognise these differences.
Qualifications are important and Jayne advises people coming into the industry who want to advance to senior levels, “Take a degree, going forward this is going to be an absolute requirement – it says something about an individual if they have taken the time to develop themselves.”
For Jayne, apprenticeships offer another important route into security: “We need to provide a support network – and we need to get on it now – that’s how we will change our industry.”
We finished by asking about Jayne’s path into healthcare security. Following nine years in the Royal Air Force and a brief stint in security on the Hook to Harwich ferry, Jayne saw a job in healthcare. Jump forwards to today and she will shortly reach 25 years in the NHS.
She believes the reasons for her success are her willingness to learn, her ability to look at things in a fresh way, to be open, to ask for help, to share and crucially “be willing to go a bit further, this will increase your knowledge, your network and your skillset”.
Outside work, Jayne likes to relax with her family. Her four-year-old son keeps her busy most evenings and weekends. If time allows, she likes gardening, “actually I’m just good at cutting things down,” and reading. She also co-chairs the LGBT staff forum at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and enjoys the events they host.
As the chimes of Big Ben signal the end of our hour together, Jayne moves on to the next task in her crucial role at Guy’s and St Thomas’.