Northgate is not the answer to Government’s Oakden failure

Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent is demanding the Weatherill Government fund a 21st century purpose-built facility in the upcoming State Budget to replace the failed Oakden facility.

“In the Oakden Report, Chief Psychiatrist Dr Aaron Groves made a range of recommendations about what the care should look like for our most vulnerable South Australians,” says Kelly Vincent.

“As I understand it, the ageing Northgate facility simply cannot meet those standards so is not suitable in the longer term.

“It also does not have the bed capacity to meet the number of beds needed following full closure of Makk and McLeay Wards.

“Retrofitting old buildings that were never designed to meet 2017 best practice standards in healthcare and accessibility for aged dementia patients with reduced mobility is expensive, and can only be a temporary solution.

“The Government must commit to funding a purpose built facility for people with severe dementia and challenging behaviours (Tier 7 BPSD).

“As the South Australian population rapidly ages, the incidence of dementia will rise in our community.

“As Dr Groves pointed out, there will be increased need and bed capacity in health facilities catering for severe dementia, not less. The Government must acknowledge this and act now, for all South Australians,” said Ms Vincent.