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Greens hope ill-fated unit not implicated in fatal

1 December 2005

Greens hope ill-fated unit not implicated in fatal stabbing

The Green Party has welcomed the Waitemata District Health Board's announcement that it will launch an inquiry into the circumstances which led to one of its patients fatally stabbing a man and injuring two others, the Green Party says.

"However, I continue to have concerns about the services available in the WDHB," Mental Health Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

The 31-year-old man was assessed by a community health team the day before Monday's attack and was reportedly found to be becoming unwell.

"I hope the fact that he wasn't admitted to the hospital on the weekend wasn't a symptom of the ongoing shortages of staff and beds at the hospital's Te Atarau mental health unit," Ms Bradford says.

This unit has been the subject of complaints throughout its history. It has been plagued with problems with low staffing and lack of beds, Ms Bradford says.

"I would hate to think that the fatally injured man, Kevan Norcross, could have still been with us was it not for a shortage of beds or staff in Te Atarau.

The incident also raises questions about the adequacy of accommodation for those with, or recovering from, mental illnesses.

"There is a serious shortage of suitable accommodation in the Auckland region for people who need support while they are recovering," Ms Bradford says.

"Urgent funding needs to be allocated for various types of appropriate accommodation so that people get the help and support they need and deserve in the community."

"Our thoughts are with Mr Norcross's family and all of those involved in Monday's tragic incident," Ms Bradford says.

ENDS

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