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


Another Buckle tragedy just waiting to happen

12 November, 2003
Another Buckle tragedy just waiting to happen

Green MP Sue Bradford warned today of deep systemic problems in mental health services that would lead to more avoidable tragedies like the Chad Buckle case in Wellington.

Ms Bradford, the Green spokesperson for Mental Health, said she had grave concerns about the appalling conditions at some facilities, such as the Waitemata District Health Board's Taharoto Unit and urged Health Minister Annette King to take immediate action.

"The conditions at the Taharoto Unit are simply terrifying for all staff and patients concerned," said Ms Bradford. "I fear there are many Chad Buckle cases just waiting to happen.

"Nurses are at their wits end: they have had their lives threatened, staffing resources are chronically stretched, and their bosses have created a climate of fear by encouraging them to complain about each other, and not about the poor support being offered by the Waitemata DHB.

"The Waitemata DHB must take full responsibility for the terrible state of affairs that exists at Taharoto.

"However, instead of taking care of their staff and patients, the DHB appears to have indulged in a snow-job by covering up what's been happening at Taharoto. Annette King's advisor David Chaplow was sent to investigate and returned saying everything was okay - but obviously they are not," said Ms Bradford.

Ms Bradford called on the Minister to seriously question the DHB's commitment to mental health because:

* Since February 2003, 15 or more personal grievances have been lodged from the Taharoto unit;

* Staff shortages range from 11 to 15 full-time-equivalent positions each day;

* A very high staff turnover means up to 80 per cent of weekend staff are casual bureau nurses;

* No management support, including counselling services, was given to a nurse who was held hostage with a knife held to her throat on October 23. She also had to pay for her own radiology from A&E;

* On November 9, two female staff members had to deal with a fight in Intensive Care Unit because a male casual bureau nurse disappeared from the fracas;

* Management seem more concerned with not exceeding bed limits than ensuring patients in need are adequately accommodated.

"The Minister should be very concerned about the state of affairs that exists at Taharoto. This is no way to operate a mental health facility effectively and safely.

"The Government must stop reviewing the situation at the Waitemata DHB and its mental health services and start taking action for the sake of all involved," said Ms Bradford.

PSA representative Jim Ferguson, who works at the Taharoto unit, is also available for media inquiries.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election