Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Leaked letter warns of mental health tragedy


Leaked letter warns of mental health tragedy

'An avoidable tragedy and / or significant legal claims against the [Waitemata] District Health Board' may result from failing to act on the 'chronic shortage of beds and staff within Auckland mental health services', Auckland's Mental Health Services Group has warned the Ministry of Health.

The letter from Dave Davies, General Manager of the Mental Health Services Group, to the Director of Mental Health has been leaked to Ms Bradford.

"This letter raises the most serious concerns. It shows the General Manager of the Mental Health Services Group warning the Ministry that the chronic underfunding of mental health services in the Auckland area is putting people at unnecessary risk," said Ms Bradford.

"Dave Davies is also quite correctly questioning the ethics and the legality of using police cells to detain mentally ill patients in the absence of acute beds and has called on the Ministry of Health for urgent and clear directions on what staff should do when no beds are available."

The letter goes on to state that:

"I believe that the current situation places Waitemata DHB and its employees at significant legal risk. Discharging unwell patients into the community could result in death or harm to the patients or others. Detaining them in police cells gives rise to potential claims for unlawful imprisonment under the [Bill of Rights Act]. Detaining in a general hospital setting would have practical difficulties, would place further pressure on over-crowded acute medical services and may result in high risk situations being managed by staff with insufficient psychiatric experience.

"I believe that my staff are being placed in an impossible legal and ethical position and an indication from the Ministry outlining the expected conduct in these cases is appropriate."

"This afternoon I am tabling this letter in Parliament and asking the Minister what directives have been given to Auckland DHBs in response to the grave issues raised in this letter," said Ms Bradford.

"This letter is documentary evidence that our mental health system is in complete meltdown and that patients, staff and the wider community are being placed at risk by a grossly under-resourced system," she said.

"When is this Government actually going to take significant and meaningful action?"


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election