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Auckland mental health problems continue

PSA Press Release

Attention: Health/State Sector reporters May 20, 2002

Auckland mental health problems continue

The continuing problems being faced by Auckland mental health workers were reinforced at a meeting of delegates on Friday, PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“PSA mental health delegates met on Friday to discuss the ongoing crisis. The following issues came out of that meeting:

- Inpatient unit delegates report an increasing incidence of unwell patients being discharged too early to accommodate other acute admissions;

- Acutely unwell patients are increasingly being put into respite care rather than being placed into acute beds;

- South Auckland CATT staff report clients being held in police cells for longer periods while acute beds are sought;

- Waitemata DHB’s Waitakere CATT West reported 17 occasions of clients being held in police cells in the last six months; during the same six months they have had 21 acute clients placed in respite care due to a shortage of beds;

- During the weekend of May 11-12, there were three assaults on CATT West staff, two of which occurred while attending to clients in a police station.

Our delegates believe it is only a matter of time before mental health workers face a serious incident directly attributable to the current bed shortage.”

Richard Wagstaff said PSA delegates will be meeting with and making submissions to the Mental Health Commission on Friday 31 May as part of the Government’s review of Auckland mental health services.


[ends]

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