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Mental health workers at end of tether

PSA media release March 13, 2002


Mental health workers at end of tether


Mental health workers in South Auckland are desperate for a solution to an acute accommodation shortage for patients, says Public Service Association national secretary, Richard Wagstaff.

“Last weekend Middlemore Hospital’s Tiaho Mai mental health unit, which was built to accommodate 45 people, was busting at the seams with 52 patients, and still more waiting to be admitted. Patients are being forced to sleep on mattresses in doctors’ rooms and interview rooms, while two were locked in police cells until beds could be found for them.”

Richard Wagstaff says the overcrowding and stress on patients and staff is totally unacceptable, and that PSA members working in the mental health area want urgent action to address what they regard as a crisis.

“Under these conditions the safety of patients and staff is seriously at risk. Workers in the industry are extremely frustrated at the lack of attention to this issue which is now critical, and which is not just confined to South Auckland.”

Richard Wagstaff says the PSA will be investigating this matter further across the Auckland region. [ends]

ENDS

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