Nicky Stevens' Family Meeting with DHB Bosses
Nicky Stevens' Family Meeting with Dhb Bosses, Request for DHB enquiry into his death to be resumed
At a meeting Wednesday evening, 15th July, with DHB Chair Bob Simcock, CEO Nigel Murray & Mental Health services boss Rees Tapsell, Nicky's family put a strong case for the enquiry into Nicky's death that has been stopped for 3 months to be re-started.
Murray and Simcock had previously taken offence when the family complained to the Police in April about the DHB's lack of care for Nicky, and closed down the internal enquiry (that hadn't actually started), one that was supposed to be completed by late June.
The family pointed out that the police investigation had not stopped other organisations moving ahead with enquiries - such as Nicky's community mental health 'provider' Hauora Waikato - and that it was illogical for the DHB to let things slide while months went by, memories dimmed, and vital files were getting lost or stolen.
Faced with a framed picture of Nicky facing them on the DHB Board table (placed there by Nicky's mum Jane to remind the DHB officials), Murray - who now seems to be in charge of the Board as well as the management - reluctantly agreed to reconsider the halt he had put on the enquiry; something he had previously refused to do.
Henry Bennett Centre boss Tapsell also agreed several changes to the appalling way the Centre had been run at the time of Nicky's death had been put in place, although in a typical self-serving statement, he claimed some of them were already planned before Nicky’s death.
He agreed to supply the family a list of the changes made, although proper record-keeping of patient movements are NOW being enforced, security guards are NOW stationed on more secure entrances to HBC, unsupervised smoking 'leaves' by at-risk patients are NOW a thing of the past, and both the HBC and the Police are NOW starting searches for AWOL patients within the hour, rather than the 2+ days it took for the search for Nicky to start after he went missing.
For the DHB bosses it was an attempted exercise in public relations, for the family it was another opportunity to push those responsible to start taking some action - SADLY they expect it will take many more months, or years, of pushing to get some answers.