Meet Johanna Shaw - a hospital worker who leads an arresting dual life.
By day Johanna works as a phlebotomist at Tameside Hospital – and at night she swaps her hospital uniform for that of a police officer.
That’s because Johanna is also a special constable heading up a six week trial, providing on-site police support at Tameside Hospital between the key hours of 10pm-2am each Friday and Saturday.
Johanna has worked at the hospital for 16 years and worked as a special constable inspector for 11 years; working in both positions allows her to have an understanding of and be able to deal with any issues that arise on a daily basis.
She said: “I have a team of officers who are supporting me on this operation. Working on site at weekends allows us to address any issues arising with an immediate response. I am passionate about supporting my workforce and protecting my colleagues, members of the public, patients, families and staff at Tameside Hospital.
“Unfortunately, my colleagues at the hospital face conflict on a regular basis so I hope the high visibility around the hospital will give them reassurance and reduce some of the problems they face.”
The trial is one of a number of initiatives currently being undertaken as a result of a closer working relationship between the hospital and Greater Manchester Police.
Alongside it, work is under way to provide a dedicated police room within the heart of the hospital’s A&E department to give police officers a base while on site.
PC Joseph Barron, Neighbourhood Beat Officer, said: “The office in A&E will mean that when police officers bring offenders or suspects into A&E, they no longer have to seat them next to members of the public. Sometimes the individuals we bring in can be quite noisy and intimidating, so it will help make ordinary members of the public in A&E feel much safer if we can access our own dedicated office.
“We have developed a close working relationship with the hospital. Johanna is a great example of this. As someone who comes from a hospital background, she knows how intimidating it can be in A&E on a Friday or Saturday night when you have people who are intoxicated and behaving in an anti-social way. As such, she was keen to head up this trial of staffing the hospital with officers on those nights, to help make it feel even safer for everyone.”
Steve Peet, the hospital’s head of security, said: “These are hugely positive steps we are taking. Having a partnership approach like this can only be a benefit for patients and visitors to Tameside Hospital.
“The initiatives we are developing, such as Police officer presence on site in A&E on busy times and the extra police presence that was provided before Christmas to tackle youths skateboarding in the multi-storey car park demonstrates our commitment to making the hospital an even safer place.”
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