Case Study

Rapid Response Alert System Benefits Veterinary Hospital

SECOM Installs a Rapid Response Alert System for Veterinary Hospital

As with any other healthcare institution, time is of the essence for veterinary hospitals. If an emergency with an animal patient occurs, staff need to be able to respond very rapidly. That’s why one veterinary specialist recently called in security experts from SECOM to install a new alert system in its state-of-the-art hospital in Basildon, Essex.

The veterinary specialists are part of a larger group, which owns numerous veterinary practices and operate one of the largest small animal referral hospitals in Europe. They have a team of over 100 experienced veterinary professionals and registered veterinary nurses. Many are leaders in their fields and together they cover 14 specialist areas of veterinary care.

Out with the old, in with the new

The organisation opened its new hospital in Basildon in August 2022. One of its priorities was to replace its old crash alarm system, which had become outdated.
A representative from the company explains: ”Previously, we used telephones to alert staff to medical emergencies. When we relocated, we changed our telephone system but we felt this wasn’t the most effective way to send an alert that would guarantee the quickest response time. A critical factor when deciding about the best way to alert people of a crash was that we were moving to a hospital that was four times the size of our old building.”

The veterinary specialists therefore started looking for a new, more effective system that would work throughout the new hospital to enable staff to provide a speedy response to a crisis situation. The new system needed to rapidly show the location and type of the crash without alerting and alarming the patient’s owners.

After carrying out research into potential solutions, they chose security specialist SECOM to install the new system, as SECOM’s solution was cost-effective and met all of the hospital’s criteria. A representative from the company continues: “SECOM offered exactly what we wanted – different call points that could be placed around the hospital for making an alert and to show which room the alert was coming from. They were very flexible with where we wanted the location points and worked around us as we worked.”

Installing the alert system

Tom Francis, SECOM’s Senior National Accounts Project Manager, says: “With projects like this, we believe the key to success is great client communications. We have to ensure we understand what they’re hoping to achieve and what they want and don’t want from the solution. We also need to communicate and touch base with the staff on site – it’s a case of getting people with the right skill sets and then producing exactly what the client wants. In this circumstance, taking everything into consideration, we specifically designed the system to automatically prioritise emergency calls for assistance, via our bespoke software application, making it the perfect solution where a quick response to urgent situations is essential.”

Due to the hospital being in full operation during the installation, the SECOM team had to operate within certain timeframes and areas. They were only permitted to work at specific times in some of these areas due to patients being cared for during the day.

However, the installation of the system went very well. Tom managed it through to completion, overseeing his teams to make sure that everything went smoothly. He kept in constant contact with the managers of the hospital to make sure the teams met all of the targets agreed to complete the work. He says: “It was key for all of the teams and engineers to play their part by meeting the veterinary specialists’ specific expectations.”

A rapid and effective system

The SECOM crash system is based on a wired framework, which ensures a high degree of reliability. For the hospital, it included the installation of 50 alert system buttons throughout the site, as well as some additional radio panic buttons. In rooms that have operating tables or examination tables, the alert button is located within arm’s reach. Most of the system is located away from the reception area – but even if an alarm sounds there, the client won’t know that it relates to their pet.

When a member of staff presses an alert button, all the alarm panels in the offices and rooms across the hospital issue an alert. The display on the panel tells the employees the location of the emergency and the type of help that is urgently needed, so that those nearest to the emergency can respond very quickly.

This response time is highly important, as a speedy reaction increases the likely survival rate of any animals having serious problems. It’s a much more effective and quicker system than having to shout for help or making a phone call.

A satisfying conclusion

“Everyone has found the new system very easy to use and understand,” says a representative from the company. “It works perfectly for us. As the method of alerting is so straightforward, we’ve seen a significant reduction in the time taken to respond to a crash alert. The location points are easy to identify and this allows our clinical team to know where the crash is, so they can assist as swiftly possible. We’ve also found that it’s a much more discreet way to make an alert around the clinical areas without affecting the client areas.”

She continues: “The SECOM engineers who came were brilliant, as we are a functioning hospital. While they were doing the install, they were flexible with when they could or couldn’t enter certain areas and came in and got started straight away every day, with no interruptions or issues. SECOM is now on our approved list for any other security work in the future. We’ve also recommended them to Linnaeus as a good company to use, in case other Linnaeus practices need a reliable company to provide security or crash alarm systems.”


Veterinary Specialists


Veterinary Services


Nurse Call System


SECOM Care Technology

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