In an Australian first, the South Australian Government has announced that it will trial CCTV in aged care homes in a bid to stop potential abuse in the system.
SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, declared that a trial will finally get underway in two homes – Northgate House and Mount Pleasant Aged Care in the Adelaide Hills – with a $785,000 co-investment from the Commonwealth and State Governments.
“Protecting South Australia’s most vulnerable is a key priority for the Marshall Liberal Government,” said Wade.
“The 12-month trial aims to enhance resident safety and care, by providing greater visibility of adverse events and enabling staff to respond quickly and manage them effectively.
“The trial will provide the Government with valuable information about the viability of audio-visual surveillance and monitoring within residential care settings.
Recording devices will be placed in residents’ bedrooms and common areas and are programmed to detect trigger movement and sounds, signalling the need for a rapid response.
The technology uses artificial intelligence to identify falls, calls for help, or unusual movements. This triggers an alert to be sent to operators at an independent monitoring centre, who then immediately alert nursing staff to respond.
Footage of an incident will be retained and securely stored onsite for review by authorised personnel.
A steering committee of consumer, stakeholder and government representatives is overseeing the pilot and the trial will then be subject to an independent evaluation. Feedback from residents, family, staff and the CCTV technology provider, Sturdie Pty Ltd, will determine the future of CCTV in the state's aged care system.
“We pride ourselves on delivering quality care to our residents, and their safety and privacy are top priorities,” said director of the Office for Ageing Well, Cassie Mason.
“Residents are able to choose whether to have their bedroom recording devices activated or not and can opt-in or out of participating at any time.
“The trial will allow us to assess whether this technology can contribute to improving quality of care, while maintaining the privacy and dignity of residents.”
A trial of CCTV in the state was first announced back in 2019, with five homes originally planned to take part, but was delayed as after British company Care Protect pulled out of the program.Do you have an idea for a story?
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