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The Royal College of Surgeons is safe and secure with Axis.

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Following the successful installation of a Mitel IP telephone system on the multi-campus site, Axis partner Arthur McKay subsequently won the contract to implement an efficient IP-based video and monitoring control solution at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh during a time of major refurbishment works .  With building refurbishment due to take place over a long period of time, the system needed to be flexible and include discreet cameras with excellent picture quality, whilst being aesthetically pleasing so as not to detract from the traditional make-up of the historic and Grade a listed buildings.


A state-of-the-art solution was developed, combining Axis network cameras with Milestone XProtect® Professional software, as recommended by Arthur McKay.  In order to effectively cover the numerous locations where refurbishment work was taking place, whilst providing secure coverage to hotel staff and guests, the initial surveillance set-up included 17 cameras, with the provision for a further 150 once the work is completed in nine months’ time.


The solution featured covert Axis network cameras to ensure all buildings and corresponding outside spaces were covered, even in complete darkness. The Axis network cameras can easily be re-positioned to correspond with the movement of works from building to building whilst maintaining the safety of staff and visitors to the historic buildings. The camera footage is of evidential quality. Advanced system integration is on the horizon as the magnitude of the refurbishment grows across the campus.

A campus full of heritage to protect

Entering its sixth century, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (College) is an historic professional member’s organisation that pursues excellence and advancement in surgical and dental practices. The College is spread over a number of buildings around Hill Square, including The Playfair Building, designed by Scottish architect William Henry Playfair, which houses Surgeons Hall Museums and Scotland’s oldest medical museum. In addition, the College boasts offices for over 150 staff, a modern surgical skills training facility called Quincentenary Hall, and a Symposium Hall - a tiered auditorium with adjoining exhibition space. In addition, the College also houses a four-star Hotel, Ten Hill Place, providing accommodation for visitors and tourists. All buildings serve both important professional and commercial functions. The College commits to providing the best services and facilities to those who work and visit its main campus situated in Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. The nature of the campus layout means that, when it comes to selecting an integrated security solution, one size does not fit all. As such, the project required more than one camera type. Considerations also had to be given to the various buildings, their function and design, including the Grade A listed Surgeon’s Hall building, which contains collections of important international significance. Axis was chosen as the preferred supplier because of the reliability, flexibility and inconspicuousness of its cameras.

Adaptability for all requirements

The project included a series of AXIS M3007-PV Network Cameras. These five-megapixel fixed mini dome cameras can be discreetly mounted on walls or ceilings, providing four feeds of detailed, high quality panoramic views. They were chosen primarily because of their flexibility; they could be re-positioned to move along with refurbishment works with few time or fitting constraints. The cameras were predominantly positioned within offices and moved from one to another as the refurbishment progressed. In the case of the hotel and its exterior support, AXIS P3364-LVE fixed dome network cameras offered superb video performance to produce high-quality, low-noise video, even when the environment was completely dark. AXIS P3364-LVE integrates Axis’ unique Lightfinder technology, which makes the camera extremely sensitive to light, while maintaining colours in very poor lighting conditions. This is obtained through a combination of Axis’ expertise in image processing, system-on-chip development and selection of the best optical components. Lightfinder-enabled cameras were strategically positioned inside the hotel reception area, over the main entrance and also around the car park, in areas where street lighting was poor.

It was agreed that the discreet and covert AXIS P1204 Network Camera, which enables easy integration into very limited spaces, would be the most appropriate camera type to install. The device offers HD-quality video and comprises a main unit and a separate sensor unit that allow them to be mounted up to eight meters (26ft.) apart.

Maintaining open communication

Although the College recently celebrated its 500th anniversary and is seen as a prestigious and traditional institution, it has always been at the ‘cutting edge’ of surgical education, training and in setting standards at home and abroad. As adoption of any technology can provide challenges, it was imperative that the system capabilities were discussed at great length with the client in order to assure them of the camera’s quality and ease of use when setting up and maintaining. Kenny Ryan, IT manager, at Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, commented: “We have been very impressed with the flexibility of Axis cameras, and how unobtrusive they are. The have been a great benefit during a

time of such change for the campus.”


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