Facility housing former Oakden residents awarded accreditation

Northgate House has been awarded three years accreditation, following an overhaul of South Australia’s Older Persons’ Mental Health Service. 


The refurbished Northgate House was established just 12 months ago to care for residents from the Oakden Aged Mental Health Facility, which closed in September last year.

The former Labor Government was forced to shut Oakden down after the horrific abuse and neglect of residents was exposed.

Following its accreditation, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards congratulated Northgate House on its person and family-centred approach to care and provided no recommendations for improvement.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said it is an excellent achievement by all involved and reflects their strong commitment to the swift transition to a new model of care, developed following the release of the Oakden Report in 2017.

“The review identified a culture of continuous improvement at Northgate House, where residents are treated with respect and dignity,” Minister Wade said.

“It also highlighted that residents receive evidence based and high-quality care.”

“Importantly, families were consulted as part of the review and it is pleasing to hear that they are being listened to and regularly involved in care plans.”

“I commend the leadership and dedicated staff in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network for their commitment to improvement and providing excellent care.”

The Minister particularly praised the work of the Head of the Older Persons’ Mental Health Service, Dr Duncan McKellar.

Dr McKeller said significant reforms have been achieved in a short period.

“The service provided at Northgate House reflects the hard work of a committed team and the advocacy of dedicated family members,” Dr McKeller said.

“Under a new governance model and improved lines of accountability, we are working with each family to ensure that our residents get the personalised care that they need.

“This accreditation is a good start, but we are committed to ongoing improvement.”

These residents have complex needs resulting from severe to extreme behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; or severe and enduring mental illness.

The State Government is committed to a state-wide reform in mental health care.

This includes the introduction of landmark legislation to establish an Adult Safeguarding Unit in South Australia to investigate cases of abuse or neglect.

The Office for the Ageing (Adult Safeguarding) Amendment Bill 2018 is the first of its kind in Australia.

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