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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78. provided that the General Managers failure to comply was caused by a policy or direction from those to whom he is subordinate. HCSCC Q40: What is the current process for implementing security requirements in the Paediatric Ward? RDH response: There is no current process other than following the Policy and calls for assistance or duress alarms. HCSCC Q41: Does the electronic access to the Paediatric Ward close the access door between 12 and 2pm? RDH response: No the door remains open between 12 and 2pm. HCSCC Comment: Mr Phil Bates (DHCS Security Manager) advised this Office that prior to the incident in March 2006 the doors to ward 5B remained unlocked 24 hours a day seven days a week. The rape of the infant in 2006 was the catalyst for implementing door locking changes. It is clear that the safety and the security of young children did not appear to have been considered important enough for changes to be made (despite the recommendations of the Lingard Review 2002 to improve security) prior to the March 2006 incident. The failure to do so can only be characterised as shameful. As the perpetrator of the crime is unidentified there is no guarantee that action by RDH would have prevented the rape, equally there is nothing to indicate that it would not have. Probabilities are that identification of the perpetrator would have been possible or improved for NT Police if proper risk assessment had been carried out prior to 2006 and implemented. Mr Lingards report of 2002 was a rudimentary risk assessment not specific to the Paediatric Ward, but even its recommendations were not implemented. Q41 Continued - If not how are person entering during this period monitored? RDH response: Persons entering during this period are monitored by using the video intercom to request admission. HCSCC Comment: As the door remained unlocked during 12 2pm it would be an unusual practice for a person wishing to enter to request admission. A more appropriate security measure would be the locking of this door between 12 and 2pm. The absurdity of this answer is self evident.
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