Specifying fencing and gates for hospitals and the healthcare industry

  1. Gates and access control
  2. Noise reduction
  3. Creating welcoming environments
  4. Outdoor storage

Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are critical infrastructure where security and safety must be carefully balanced. Despite the extremely sensitive nature of these sites, crime is unfortunately frequent as criminals believe them to be ‘soft targets’. In recent years, it was reported that the centrepiece of a children’s memorial garden at the Royal Bolton Hospital was destroyed by intruders, while the Vale of Leven Hospital was subjected to repeated attacks too, with multiple vehicles in the car park stolen, broken into, or damaged by vandals.

Facilities managers and specifiers have the responsibility of incorporating physical security strategies around healthcare sites to protect patients, visitors, property and assets; the challenge being that many of these sites have increased in size and complexity to meet the demands of a growing population. Fencing, gates, storage enclosures and access control is part of a solution in securing this service sector that operates 365 days a year.

Effective access control

Firstly, consider the gates and access points around the perimeter. It is important that access points are installed and controlled centrally, or regularly monitored. Consider the opening times of the facility and the type of vehicles that require access; the appropriate access solution should ensure that where necessary, emergency vehicles can get in and out of the site unhindered.

If specifying automated gates, safety should be the top priority. Our gate engineers are qualified to a minimum of DHF level 2, following all current gate safety regulations. When designing pedestrian and vehicular access: gates should be DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant.

The design of fencing and gates must accommodate rapid evacuation and access for emergency services. With regards to the car park, there may be a need to secure it with rising arm barriers or bollards – not only to control access but to separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic, and protect different buildings such as specialist units and emergency wards.

vertical bar ambulance gate open

Protecting patients from noise

Many hospitals have air-conditioning units, heat pumps, and generators within the grounds which often create noise pollution which may disrupt patients and hinder recovery. Where this is the case, acoustic barriers such as our Jakoustic® Absorptive fencing can help to reduce noise; it features a timber structure with an additional layer covered with a mineral fibre layer and a protective membrane.

If the hospital is near a major road, then Jakoustic® Commercial and Highway acoustic fencing is a UKCA tested and certified solution to reduce noise. This barrier provides a high level of noise protection and security while maintaining a pleasant timber aesthetic, which is an essential consideration for healthcare environments.

Healing through aesthetics

Creating a welcoming environment should always be considered when specifying fencing for hospitals. Razor wire or barbed wire may be deterrents to potential trespassers, but can lead to intimidating appearance which is not best suited to a healthcare environment. Choose a solution that not only offers high security but is also visually attractive and fits in with the surrounding area. Our vertical bar security fencing provides strong boundary protection and excellent visibility for surveillance, while offering greater security and a slightly softer appearance than alternatives such as steel palisade fencing, often used for perimeter security.

For areas which require a 'softer' appearance such as garden or outdoor areas, our timber fencing may be more suitable. Our timber fence panels promote a sense of wellbeing and privacy with their natural, welcoming appearance and come with our 25 year Jakcure® guarantee. Read about how they were used in a Horatio's Garden project.

Contemporary garden fencing

Outdoor storage areas

Hospitals and other medical facilities often need secure outdoor areas and bin stores to contain hazardous materials on-site before they're taken away. When specifying outdoor storage, hospitals have a responsibility to ensure that the storage area is secured using risk appropriate fencing to avoid potentially dangerous materials getting into the wrong hands.

Security storage compound

We recommend undertaking a risk assessment to ensure that a risk appropriate solution is installed. For facilities which are at risk of criminal activity, products accredited by standards such as Secured by Design or the Loss Prevention Standards Board’s LPS 1175 are proven to reduce the likelihood of crime. It is also best practice to ensure that the storage areas are located in an area where there are no climbing aids such as lamp posts or trees, and the fence should be high enough to deter attempts at climbing.

For more information on how we can secure your hospital or healthcare site, contact us today. For more information, download our guide on specifying fencing for hospitals and healthcare facilities below.

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Jacksons Security has a range of products relating to this article, all complete with our 25 year service life guarantee. If you cannot find the item you are looking for, please do not hesitate to call our friendly sales team.

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We have completed a large number of projects in various sectors, from housing, retail, leisure and education, to hospitals and healthcare, transport, utilities, and high security NPSA (previously CPNI) sites. Discover more through our portfolio of case studies.


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