Southern District Health Board
201 Great King Street
Private Bag 1921
Chief Executive Officer
Phone 03-476 9456 Fax 03-476 9450
1 November 2017
Email: [FYI request #6621 email]
Dear Miss Black
Official Information Act Request
I refer to your Official Information Act request received by email on 4 October 2017 in which
you specifically requested the following:
Could you please provide information relating the use of security cameras in your two adult
mental health inpatient units at Wakari Hospital and Southland Hospital.
The reason/purpose for installing security cameras within your adult mental health inpatient
How you measure that the security cameras are addressing their initial purpose.
All policy documents relating to the use of security cameras in adult mental health inpatient
1. Ward 9A at Wakari Hospital is a medium secure forensic inpatient unit. The cameras are
installed to maintain the safety of staff and patients as well as contributing to security
measures within this environment. The only other adult wards on the Wakari Hospital site
with cameras are the Intellectual Disability ward (also medium secure) and Ward 9B which
is adjacent to Ward 9A. These cameras are all primarily part of Ward 9A’s security system
but Ward 9B may be notified of any observed concerns by the Support Centre if required.
All cameras within Wards 9A and 9B are monitored 24 hours by the Support Centre attached
to Ward 9A.
Within Invercargill’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit (IMHU) the security cameras were installed
to ensure the safety of patients and staff within IMHU; it is a closed circuit system. They are
especially used in the evenings to see who might be coming in and also for supporting the
Southland Mental Health Emergency Team who often do after-hour assessments in the
Whanau Room situated near the front entrance of the IMHU.
2. On the Wakari Hospital site the Support Centre promptly notifies staff of any observed
concerns and coordinates any response, particularly where other wards are called on to
assist. In Invercargill, staff are able to access Hospital security staff quickly if needed when
there is an identified risk. They also allow staff to intervene in situations where safety is
compromised quickly and it also allows staff to leave the ward safely in the evenings. The
Service reports all staff and patient incidents and the prompt response to incidents and the
support of other ward and/or security staff clearly reflects that the cameras are effective in
addressing the reasons they were installed.
3. We attach a copy of Southern DHB policy 78893 “Ward 9A Support Centre – Wakari Hospital”
and draw your attention to two paragraphs (asterisked on pages 7 & 9). This is the only
Southern DHB policy related to the use of security cameras in adult mental health inpatient
We have redacted a section titled Computer Access and Login
from this policy under section
9(2)(c) of the Official Information Act. This section provides details of passwords and access
to our security system. We have therefore withheld it in order to avoid prejudice to measures
protecting the health or safety of members of the public.
You have the right to seek an investigation and review of our decision by the Ombudsman. The
Ombudsman's Office can be contacted on 0800 802 602 or on-line at http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/.
Chief Executive Officer