Territory Stories

Health and Community Services Complaints Commission Report on Investigation of Royal Darwin Hospital Security Arrangements for the protection of Children and Infants Paediatric Ward 5B Volume 1



Health and Community Services Complaints Commission Report on Investigation of Royal Darwin Hospital Security Arrangements for the protection of Children and Infants Paediatric Ward 5B Volume 1

Other title

Tabled paper 163


Tabled Papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Deemed paper


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

File type




Copyright owner

See publication



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

21. DI Attendance at RDH Ward 5B - 21 November 2007 Royal Darwin Hospitals public main entrance before the public lifts has a security office situated within the foyer and has recordable CCTV positioned above the foyer. There are no other CCTV cameras between the main public foyer and that of Ward 5B if a person utilises the lift system. On the date of inspection there were two entrance doors to Ward 5B, one which was closed only allowing the public to enter through the door closest to the lift area. This door was access controlled with a swipe card system. The DHCS (DHF) Security Manager Mr Phil Bates later (19.06.2008) advised that prior to the incident of March 2006 in Ward 5B the doors to this unit were not locked after hours. The DI was advised by the CNC that the doors are automatically unlocked between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm (previous information provided by the Chief Health Officer was that the doors automatically unlocked at 07:30am). After 5:00pm advice was provided by the CNC that the access control system locks the door and entry can only be made by persons using a staff access swipe card. To a certain extent that is correct. A person is still able to coattail a staff member or other admitted person through this door, and unless challenged has unrestricted access to the Ward. On the outside of this door is a camera and voice intercom system. On activation (a person pressing the call button), a persons image is projected at the nursing station; however this image and any conversation is not recorded nor is a written record kept of the identity of the person, how that identity is verified nor the reason given for requesting access, nor to which patient or other purpose access is requested. If an incident similar to the incident of 30th March 2006 were to recur nothing further would be available (as at 21 November 2007 date of DI inspection) to assist police investigations or obtain evidence than was available then. A person seeking entry after public admittance hours is required to press the intercom and wait for assistance. This again does not alleviate the ability for a person to coattail through this door after an authorised cardholder enters. The issue of intercoms and coattailing is also addressed in the Lingard Review11 however is not with specific reference to the Paediatric Ward. Coat-tailing in the context of this report, can be defined as an unauthorised person following an authorised person into an area that they would not normally (at that time) have access. Ward 5B door, on the date of inspection, was slow to close. The CNC stated that she is unaware of whose access card will work on the doors after hours and that a list of authorised persons with access to Ward 5B can be obtained from the Medical Engineering department. Australian Standard 4485.2-1997 section 7.7.2 Personal Security Precautions in the Workplace states Staff should wear their personal identification at all times. They should query the presence of strangers and report any suspicious behaviour. The DI arrived early for the appointment to assess security within Ward 5B by compliance with Australian Standard 4485.2-1997 and to evaluate it against the 11 2.11.2 All entry doors should have camera (not video intercom) coverage and voice communications to allow staff to see and to communicate to whomever is requesting entry.