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
Tabled paper 163
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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4. FOREWORD The Office of the Health & Community Services Complaints Commission investigates matters when allegations of a serious nature relating to a healthcare provider or service are raised by a complaint or are in the public interest. Factors that result in an investigation being conducted include serious physical injury to a patient or visitor to a Healthcare facility; matters that put at risk the publics confidence in the Healthcare provided; a failure in the service provided; and allegations of abuse or neglect. This report deals with an allegation of patient safety and hospital security, and the actions taken by Royal Darwin Hospital to address the incident. In todays climate, there is an expectation that Healthcare Services provide patients (and visitors) with a safe environment and quality care. There are sound reasons for establishing effective systems to manage risk, report incidents and improve safety and security systems. Regardless of the size or core business of an agency, it is a fact that security incidents will occur. It is the agencys responsibility to mitigate the risk of an occurrence by tackling the issue/s and, when a security breach has occurred, by taking action. This investigation has disclosed that the Department of Health and Community Services and Royal Darwin Hospital, in response to a serious sexual assault on a five month old girl, have failed to implement adequate risk reduction measures. Australian Standards have been developed to assist health care facilities in the development of effective security systems. Part of these standards set out the essential requirements needed to provide a safe and secure environment for staff, patients and visitors. Reference is made to these standards throughout this report. Australian Standard 4485.2- 1997 Section 11 refers to incident procedures. This standard refers to when a security incident is deemed to have occurred, when there is actual harm to a person within a health care facility or its grounds, a security incident has occurred. An investigation should ensue to ascertain what happened, when, how and why it happened and to assess the damage, harm or compromise to the facility and its patients. Additionally, an investigation may reveal that the health facilitys security procedures/policies are deficient or identify that the health facility has appropriate security procedures and policies in place. An investigation will also provide valuable information for the facility (and other facilities of similar nature) to improve or enhance their security. Any investigation should recommend measures to minimise the possibility of a recurrence. Australian Standard 4485.1 Section 11 states that a facility shall be able to produce evidence of the investigations undertaken as part of the security risk assessment and evidence that the recommendations of the security risk assessment have been implemented. Australian Standard AS4269-19951 5.1 was provided to 1 Volume 2 - RDH attachment 2 - Australian Standard AS 4269-1995 Complaints Handling 5.1 - Health complaints bodies also have a role in using information gained from the complaints process to educate health providers and the public.
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