Shellharbour Hospital mental health report concerning

MEDIA RELEASE


Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson will this week ask the Minister for Mental Health, Jai Rowell MP, to clarify the status of the Eloura West mental health facility at Shellharbour Hospital following a damning NSW Health investigation into the alleged murder of patient in July.

“This NSW Health investigation report raises some very disturbing issues in relation to the Eloura West mental health facility.

“It is evident from the report that there have been deficiencies in the care of patients and fear on behalf of staff of particularly aggressive patients.

“This would appear to indicate that staff levels should be increased at Eloura West’s mental health unit.

“I am quite concerned that the NSW Health investigation report appears to have concluded that there is no model of care at Eloura West and there is limited access to social work, psychology and therapies.

“I simply find the bureaucratic word games by Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District management calling Eloura West an ‘observation unit” while the staff call it a “high dependency unit” unacceptable.

“I’m not interested in bureaucratic word games by health officials.

“I want to see appropriate services and staff available to those people who require mental health services from Eloura West.

“It appears clear from the NSW Health investigation report that there are serious deficiencies in the level of service and staff levels at Eloura West”, she said.

Ms Watson has again called on the Minister to instruct the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District to re-commission three beds of the nine beds in the Eloura West facility, which was closed following the alleged murder.

3 November 2014

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