Vulnerable Persons Unit

The management of vulnerable people presents a significant challenge for police. The use of one size fits all cells is not suitable for monitoring those at rish such as individuals with mental health issues, drugs addicts, drunks and others. The Athelney Group Vulnerable Person Unit (VPU) has been designed to safely and securely detain vulnerable individuals in a situation where they can be actively monitored by both CCTV and human observation.

Management of Risk - when a custody officer stipulates that an individual is a high risk detainee the only option for constant observation in a Lambeth Cell is for an officer to sit in a busy cell corridor with the cell door OPEN! This is a ridiculour but real scenario that takes place across the UK daily.

The unique glass fronted VPU enables an officer or custody staff to monitor the detainee safely through the 17.5mm toughened laminated glass. The VPU can be made to any size but the standard size of 2.4m L x 1.5m W x 2.25m H allows for a full size low level bench to be included. This is only 8 cm off of the floor. This allows the subject to rest fully laid out with no risk of injusy if they roll off of the bench.

The VPU can also be installed in NHS Emergency Departments to safely and securely manage disruptive, druken and agressive individuals while they are either treated or police called to deal with them.

Violence and aggression towards frontline hospital staff is estimated to cost the NHS at least £69 million a year in staff absence, loss of productivity and additional security. As many as 59,000 physical assaults occur in English NHS hospitals each year, a figure which continues to rise. With over 21 million patients attending A&E departments each year, increasing pressure on A&E departments can lead to negative experiences for both patients and staff. In the complex, high pressure environment of A&E escalating frustrations can be particularly difficult to manage and diffuse.

The Vulnerable Persons Unit is designed to better support NHS frontline staff to manage incidents of violence and aggression and to protect other service users attending A & E.

The VPU will assist staff by segregating those with challenging patient behaviour and placing them into a safe and secure environment within existing buildings and structures.

Those who present potential perpetrator profiles such as:

  • Clinically confused
  • Frustrated
  • Intoxicated
  • Anti-social/angry
  • Distressed/frightened
  • Socially isolated.

can be isolated and treated in the VPU in a controlled and safe environment for the patient, staff and other service users.

The NHS and Mental Health Assessment

The VPU is modular and scalable and can be built to create secure ‘room’ or spaces within a room.

It can be adapted to provide an intermediate step for distressed or vulnerable people that give staff the opportunity to assess their needs in safety.

The VPU can be equipped with safe or soft furnishings to create a safe and therapeutic space for assessments.

The VPU is a scaleable and cost effective solution to protect staff and service users in the NHS environment.