Security cameras to be tested in Port Pirie hospital rooms

TRIAL: Cameras will keep watch over residents in bedrooms at Port Pirie hospital's aged-care facilities in a trial program.
TRIAL: Cameras will keep watch over residents in bedrooms at Port Pirie hospital's aged-care facilities in a trial program.

Cameras will be trialled in Port Pirie hospital's aged-care bedrooms to combat possible abuse and poor care.

The site is among five South Australian aged care facilities that will have surveillance and monitoring systems installed as part of a trial to improve resident safety to reduce what are described as "adverse events".

The 12-month trial will be rolled out from early next year at Port Pirie, Mt Pleasant Aged Care, Waikerie Health Services, Bordertown Memorial Hospital and Northgate House in Adelaide.

"This closed-circuit television pilot program aims to ... determine whether the technology can cost-effectively be used to provide higher levels of resident safety, improve care and reduce adverse events," said Health Minister Stephen Wade.

It comes amid the royal commission into the nation's aged-care system that was sparked partly by serious abuse and poor care uncovered at Adelaide's state-run Oakden nursing home.

The state government is still looking to secure a technology partner to provide the security system which will only be installed with the full consent of residents and their families.

The measure has been called for by the various community and support groups across the aged care sector as well as families of those abused at Oakden.

Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the commonwealth would explore measures to keep seniors safe.

"The trial will provide evidence about whether the benefits of installing surveillance in aged-care homes outweigh the privacy costs for residents," he said.

"We must make sure seniors and their loved ones have the confidence that they will be treated with dignity and respect in aged care."

Cameras will be installed in all bedrooms within the chosen sites, but will only be switched on after the personal consent of each resident who will be able to step in or out of the trial any time.

The royal commission heard harrowing stories of neglect in aged homes.

The accounts came from families of loved ones.

-AAP

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