So, How Will You Do It Better?

In the next 12 to 18 months there are a number of…

A personal view of a failed democracy

I sometimes wonder if it is in becoming a parent, responsible for…

Assange’s Fourteenth Day at the Old Bailey: Elections,…

September 25. Central Criminal Court, London.On this Friday, the Assange trial moved…

Reverse JobKeeper cuts and protect working people, say…

Two days after assailing the Morrison government for inaction on a jobs…

Dean Jones: Life of a Cricketing Entertainer

He was very much one of those cricketers who made the pulse…

Seeking the Post-Corona Sunshine: More Continuity for Post-Fitzgerald…

By Denis Bright  Even Nostradamus himself might be hesitant about predicting the final…

Jobs plan must be a way forward, says…

On the day where the Morrison government’s announced cuts to the JobKeeper…

The ‘Panama Papers’ exposed the greed of the…

By Paul Gregoire  The Panama Papers could have been a massive moment in…

«
»
Facebook

Mental health perfect storm

Media release from the Office of the Public Advocate

Assaults and violence in Victorian mental health facilities drawn to the attention of Community Visitors have increased by 77 per cent in the last two years.

Public Advocate and chair of the Community Visitor boards, Colleen Pearce, said that the figures – 101 in 2017 and 179 this year and published in the volunteers’ annual report today – were the “tip of the iceberg” because many incidents involving the one patient can be recorded as only one incident. In addition, Community Visitors get their information from viewing incident reports and access was only provided in 51 per cent of visits last year.

“Insufficient beds is one of the key reasons for assaults and violence in the mental health system because critically unwell people cannot get help until they are at risk to themselves or others,” Dr Pearce said.

Violence was also an issue in facilities for the aged where a high number of assaults, including physical and sexual, continued. One Community Visitor reported a patient punched a nurse in the face and attacked them with a chair. The nurse had to go to emergency. One facility saw 13 incidents in two months including 11 aggressions against staff.

Dr Pearce said these issues would only be addressed with more staff as well as better-designed facilities to allow full view of a unit, and with greater investment in therapeutic activities.

Another critical issue was that patients were often being discharged with nowhere to go. One patient in Hume was discharged to homelessness with a coat and a sleeping bag.

Unstable accommodation continued to be a serious issue, Dr Pearce said, with adverse consequences for people’s recovery and often leading to revolving-door admissions.

Of 92 patients who have been in facilities long-term, 25 cannot be discharged because there was nowhere suitable for them to go.

Other issues included staff shortages, especially in some regions like Hume, suicides and self-harm, staff recruitment and retention issues due to workplace violence, gender safety, plus restraint and seclusion.

This year, 80 volunteer Community Visitors made 1670 visits to 170 units across the state identifying 1486 issues.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

2 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Jon Chesterson

    PERFECT STORM – BEEN BREWING FOR YEARS

    I too was punched in the face within the first two weeks of arrival in Australia – Back in 1988, that was 31 years ago. Briefly unconscious, blood all over the floor of the nursing station just past 9pm and a broken nose, I was asked the following morning by the ADON why I wasn’t at work.

    I was booted out of my job by my last employer 28 years later, so I retired – A different kind of violence, same system. Both these events were in NSW Health. Has anything changed?

    Someone please tell me why our public health system employers and politicians are so damn rude, ignorant and aggressive to staff, patients and their families.

  2. DrakeN

    Jon: “Someone please tell me why our public health system employers and politicians are so damn rude, ignorant and aggressive to staff, patients and their families.”

    Because 1. They can get away with it.
    Because 2. Something which does not impact directly on people are of little or no interest to them.
    Because 3. The media undestands that only something catastrophic or otherwise sensational will sell their papers/airtime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: