Tuesday, 8 September 2020

CCDHB case shows mental health overhaul needed

“Six new mental health inpatient beds at Capital and Coast DHB are necessary following recommendations from the Chief Ombudsman but don’t solve ongoing issues in the sector,” says ACT Party Deputy Leader and Mental Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“In 2017 the Chief Ombudsman recommended the DHB should stop using seclusion rooms as bedrooms. For three years nothing changed and patients have been treated in conditions breaching the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

“That never should have happened. It’s unacceptable that it’s taken so long for the DHB to come up with a plan to stop using seclusion rooms as bedrooms.

“We are still waiting to hear what will change at Waitakere’s inpatient units which also were found to breach the Convention.

“There is a failure in DHBs being both the purchaser and provider of mental health and addiction services. There needs to be better accountability for services and more emphasis on better outcomes for individuals.

“The disparity in treatment is wide across New Zealand and is largely dependent on the competence and priorities of a particular DHB.

“ACT has a plan to transform mental health and addiction services based on community and individual need, accountability, and outcomes. These cases show change is needed now more than ever.”

ACT’s policy can be found here