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Govt Has New Policy On Psychiatric Patients

Annette King has to explain the Government's new policy of moving psychiatric patients to rest homes, National's Disability and Senior Citizens Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

'It seems acceptable to the Minister of Health that Canterbury Area Health Board has moved patients from Hill Morton Hospital's Tupuna Villa, which houses long stay psychiatric patients to rest homes even though they have a mental health disability not an age-related disability.

"The Minister needs to tell the public, including anxious patients and their families, about this new policy as it seems to be the accepted norm for psychiatric patients to now live in rest homes without assessment of their condition or needs.

"This policy is contrary to the Government's own National Mental Health Sector Standard 2001 which says patients need to be assessed before they are moved and this must be in consultation with families.

"By not answering the pleas of patients' families Annette King is trying to cover up the Government's change in policy. The Government has used December's industrial dispute as a smokescreen for this new policy," Dr Scott said.


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