Therapies — 23 June 2017

adult-casual-hospital-vintage-blurred_1203-4824Public comment is being sought on seclusion, restraint and observation practices at NSW health facilities following disturbing footage of a patient’s finals days in Lismore Base Hospital.

Miriam Merten died at the hospital in June 2014 from traumatic and hypoxic brain injury after falling at least 25 times in seven hours, including while held in a seclusion cell, with a coronial inquest finding two nurses failed to take appropriate action.

A six-panel review and parliamentary inquiry was launched in May after video of the incident emerged.

Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies on Thursday said the review, headed by NSW Chief Psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright, has opened for public submissions about “experiences of mental health care at NSW Health facilities”.

Written submissions can be made via post or email, Ms Davies said.

Community consultations will begin “soon” in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Orange, Queanbeyan, Sydney, Wagga Wagga, western Sydney and Wollongong with dates to be published on the NSW Health website.

The review group, including an American restraint reduction expert, will submit a final report to the government by early December, along with recommendations on how to reduce seclusion and restraint practices in NSW.

Those concerned about aspects of the state’s mental health system other than those under review are encouraged to contribute to the parliamentary inquiry via the Parliament of NSW website, Ms Davies said.

Information can be found at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/patients/mentalhealth/Pages/default.aspx.

This piece was first seen on ‘Yahoo7News’ June 22 2017.

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