Matthew Rafe

Security Team Leader

When you think of secutiry you might naturally think of guards employed to enforce ‘Keep Off’ notices, but that is certainly not the case for the hospital security team lead by Matthew Rafe.

No two days are ever the same for the keen mountain hiker who is guided by two principles – honesty and integrity, both of which he carries with him whilst on duty keeping Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust safe for patients, staff and visitors.

Matthew (30) from Birmingham has been working with the Trust since 2012, and says that the variety of his job keeps him on his toes. His responsibilities include managing the security team and ensuring that the hospital is a safe and secure environment for patients, staff and visitors. The security team provides a 24/7 service, monitoring an extensive network of CCTV cameras and other security systems in place across the Trust’s sites and always having a physical presence on site to react quickly when needed.

Speaking about his job, Matthew said: “We try to stop bad things from happening, but when they do we do the best we can in that situation. As hospital security it is important that we are very flexible and can adapt to any situation, but the best thing we can do is prevent a situation from occurring in the first place. Experience gives me a good insight into how people react and often illness or injury causes additional stress for patients and their families that may escalate into a problem if we do not act quickly.

“My job allows me to meet people from different walks of life. The environment that I work in is quite dynamic, but I am trained to use my initiative to act very quickly meaning I am able to sort out situations before they become problems.

“The safety of patients and staff is my priority. I feel that with this job, I can contribute to the care that the Trust provides to our patients and within this pleasant environment, patients can recover sooner.

“Throughout the years I’ve worked in the NHS, I am experienced in identifying patients who are under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs, or displaying anti-social behaviour or behaviour that would later lead to problems so I can warn clinical staff to minimise the safety risks for them.”

Matthew added: “I consider myself very lucky to work with such a great team. Everyone cares about doing the best they can every day and I feel that without my team’s support, I would not be able to do my job.”

Matthew decided on a career in security after leaving university and missing out on the police due to budget cuts. “I first worked in the private sector before moving into the NHS to a primary care trust in 2008. I enjoy the NHS because the job allows me to make a positive impact on people.

Married with one child – a son, Mason (21 months), Matthew is a 1st Dan in Ju-Jitsu and is a qualified instructor. He took up the martial art at university, and rates it alongside mountain hiking as one of his favourite hobbies.

Questioned on who is his hero, Matthew said: “My previous team leaders have influenced me, especially Lee Sweeney, who is my role model. He’s moved on to the National Association for Healthcare Security now, but when he was here he taught me a lot and inspired me to be better every day. I have come to develop flexible approaches that can help me to work with people from different backgrounds.