St Andrew's nursing home in Ballina.
St Andrew's nursing home in Ballina. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Call for cameras in aged homes after murders: OPINION

IN the wake of the conviction of nurse Megan Haines for the double murder of two St Andrews residents in 2014, CCTV cameras should become mandatory in all nursing homes across Australia.

Not that cameras may have necessarily saved Marie Darragh and Isabella Spencer from such a terrible fate, but it may have made Haines think twice before delivering fatal insulin doses.

It would have also been enormously helpful to the police investigation afterwards if they could have traced the movement of Haines on that fateful night in May 2014.

The installation of cameras would also help with the investigation of cases of elder abuse which, unfortunately, have become too frequent in our nursing homes.

It would certainly be most family's worst nightmares to give their loved ones up for care in a professional setting only for their mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles to be abused in such a way.

I understand there would privacy concerns, but surely that would far outweighed by the improved protection of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

It may be also uncomfortable for staff in nursing homes to be scrutinised in such a fashion.

But I am sure the vast majority of people working in the aged care sector are doing a great job and have nothing to hide.

On occasions, families have taken the matter into their own hands by installing spy cameras in the rooms of relatives they believe are being abused. That shouldn't ne necessary.


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