16.9 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Labor calls for inquiry after Lismore hospital mental unit death

Latest News

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Other News

Interview with Mell and Zara from the Byron Comedy Fest

After a year under a COVID-19 hiatus, The Byron Comedy Fest is back! Next Thursday sees this fledgling event open the doors to its second weekend presenting all that is fabulous and funny. Set on the Byron beachfront at the Byron Surf Club and styled as a classy bespoke beachside speakeasy, this event is the creative lovechild of besties Zara Noruzi and Mell Coppin.

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Interview with Nick Sergi, producer of the Byron Music Festival

Nick Sergi, producer of the Byron Music Festival talks to The Echo.

False impressions

Fast Buck$, Coorabell I was under the impression that, upon the mayor resigning, the deputy mayor would automatically get the...

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

The NSW opposition is calling for an urgent parliamentary inquiry into NSW’s Mental Health facilities following the death of a mentally ill patient in Lismore’s Adult Mental Health Unit.

CCTV footage released yesterday showed the mentally ill patient wandering naked and covered in faeces, falling at least 25 times.

The patient, Miriam Merton, died from a brain injury the following day.

But the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) has denied there has been a cover-up.

A coronial inquest found that Ms Merton was locked in a secluded room and left unattended by nurses for more than five hours, with no access to water or a toilet.

The inquest further found that health protocols were significantly breached with nurses failing to physically assess the patient’s temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure when in isolation.

The state government last week announced a review into mental health policies and procedures as a result of the 2014 incident.

NNSW LHD CEO Wayne Jones said he ‘welcomed the review’, adding the health service was ‘always open’ about what happened to Ms Merton.

‘Let me stress there has been absolutely no cover-up in this,’ he told ABC radio.

‘We provided open and full disclosure to Ms Merton’s guardian and father concerning the details of her death.’

NSW opposition mental health spokesperson, Tania Mihailuk is calling for a full inquiry into mental health services in the state after the death of a patient at Lismore Base Hospital. File photo
NSW opposition mental health spokesperson, Tania Mihailuk is calling for a full inquiry into mental health services in the state after the death of a patient at Lismore Base Hospital. File photo

Don Dale moment

But NSW shadow minister for mental health Tania Mihailuk said that the NSW Government had ‘failed to adequately respond to such appalling abuse of a mentally ill patient in care’, and a parliamentary inquiry was ‘urgently needed to assess the level of resourcing and staffing of NSW’s mental health facilities.’

‘This is the Don Dale moment for the NSW mental health system – it is sickening and appalling that a mentally ill patient, in desperate need of assistance, was treated so inhumanely.

‘Despite this mentally ill patient dying over two years ago, the NSW Government has failed to provide an adequate response to such abhorrent mistreatment and abuse.

‘Premier Berejiklian must immediately order an urgent parliamentary inquiry into the resourcing and capacity of mental health facilities across our state.

‘The community needs assurances from the NSW Government that there have not been systemic breaches of patient care guidelines in our state’s mental health facilities.

‘We need to hear firsthand from mentally ill patients, their families, staff, and from within the sector, to ensure that such mistreatment is not widespread within the sector.

‘The government should apologise to the family and ensure that there is a full and transparent review of the circumstances which led to this tragedy.

‘The minister for mental health should immediately outline what measures this government will be undertaking to ensure that no other mental health patient dies in such tragic circumstances while receiving treatment in care,’ Ms Mihailuk said.

The last parliamentary inquiry into mental health services in NSW was in 2001.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As Byron Council used to have...

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine.