On Thursday the 11th of April ACMA sponsored and hosted an open forum on the use of CCTV in resident rooms in the residential care setting. The purpose of the evening was to debate the benefits and risks to privacy and the availability of new technology to protect the privacy and dignity of residents and staff. Invited panel guests included the state Minister for Health and Wellbeing Hon Stephen Wade, the Shadow Minister Chris Picton, Luke Westenberg CEO of ACIA (SA) Wayne Belcher OAM CEO Braemar Presbyterian Care in WA, the Hon Mark Parnell MLC, and the Hon Frank Pangallo MLC. The audience consisted of several aged care providers, legal advisors, technology experts and advocates. Special guest panelist was Scott Sterling General, Stewart Johnston and Noleen Hausler.
During the course of the day prior to the forum, the Premier Stephen Marshall and Minister Wade announced a trial of CCTV in state run aged care places with $500 Thousand dollars being committed by the Federal Government.
The introduction of CCTV to monitor resident and staff safety and behaviours in a trial environment must be controlled with strict parameters to measure success or failure. While ACMA strongly support the trial, it must be controlled with clear performance indicators based on the known events history of each individual facility. The key indicators must reflect reductions in resident incidents, poor staff behaviours ( and poor resident behaviour ), staff performance for training purposes, staff engagement with residents and families, meal service outcomes and more. I also call on the Minister for Health and Wellbeing to extend the trial beyond the SA Health aged care network, and into regional and remote services where significant staffing issues are currently impacting on resident outcomes. This is a one off opportunity, so lets not blow it.