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Minister acts on issues raised by coroner

18 April 2001 Media Statement
Minister acts on issues raised by coroner

Health Minister Health Annette King today received a copy of the coroner's report on the Lachlan Jones/Malcolm Beggs case and has discussed the findings with Mental Health Commissioner Dr Barbara Disley.

"In response to issues raised by Mr Mate Frankovich, Dr Disley has agreed that the Mental Health Comission will carry out a review of all current policies around the provision of information about patients of all mental health services throughout New Zealand," said Mrs King.

"Following the Commission's review, I have asked the Commission and the Ministry of Health to colaborate to provide nationally consistent guidelines to every provider of mental health services.

"I have also asked the Commission, as an independent mental health watchdog, to monitor the implementation of the guidelines.

"Furthermore, the Commission has just completed a review of crisis services nationwide and they are about to provide me with a report including recommendations on quality and consistency of training of mental health staff and the way they operate. I will be considering this report as soon as it is received," said Mrs King.

"As I said last year, it was clear that there had been a serious breakdown in mental health services provided by Waitemata Health. I had been encouraged, however, that WHL had acknowledged those deficiencies and was improving the quality and safety of its care."

Mrs King reiterated the Government's commitment to adopting the Mental Health Commission's Mental Health Blueprint. This included an injection of an additional $257 million for mental health services anounced in last year's budget for the next four years.

"As a result, the Waitemata District Health Board is now receiving more funding for mental health services and is able to employ more qualified staff in its communityy assessment and treatment teams. There is, however, a need to train more people to work in the menatl health area, which the Government is addressing. That, along with additional funding, will affect the speed with which the blueprint can be fully adopted," said Mrs King.

ENDS

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