SA Mental Health Minister expedites ward closure

Mental Health Minister has instructed the Chief Executive of SA Health to expedite the closure of the Makk and McLeay wards at Oakden following further reports of unnecessary force being used on residents.


Ms Vlahos said she explored closing Makk and McLeay immediately, but has since received clinical advice that moving residents twice would do serious harm to their wellbeing.


Instead, further resources will be allocated to the Northgate Aged Care facility to expedite the completion of the works, bringing forward the relocation of residents.


The direction comes after the Minister was advised 16 May 2017 of a further incident of unnecessary force involving a staff member, towards a resident at the facility, which occurred yesterday.


The staff member has been stood down and reported to SAPOL.


This is in addition to a further incident reported to the Parliament on 17 May.


The Minister said that whilst the extra safeguards at the facility have helped to detect and respond to the latest incidents, they have not prevented them.


The relocation of residents will be subject to consultation with families and next of kin. The Government will also take clinical advice and address Commonwealth accreditation issues.


In December 2016, an independent review was commissioned to look at care provided at the Oakden Older Person’s Mental Health Service after concerns were raised by the family of a consumer about the treatment their relative received as a resident.


19 May 2017.