- A Riverina woman has described in a public submission how she was stripped of her clothes, drugged to a dangerous level and unfairly isolated at a Wagga Wagga mental health unit. The woman’s allegations came at the ninth of 10 public forums into seclusion and restraint practices in NSW mental health units.
- Premier Jay Weatherill and his new health minister have unveiled “new, state-of-the-art health facilities” at the Flinders Medical Centre as they prepare for closure of the Repat.
The pair today toured new $185 million facilities on the site, which include a 55-bed rehab centre, a 15-bed palliative care facility and 30-bed older person’s mental health unit.
- In 2014 it was reported 45 per cent of surveyed Indigenous mothers smoked during pregnancy, compared to 13 per cent of non-Indigenous pregnant women. It is hoped a large-scale research project will help provide clearer solutions for tackling smoking rates among pregnant Indigenous women across the country.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
A Riverina woman has described in a public submission how she was stripped of her clothes, drugged to a dangerous level and unfairly isolated at a Wagga Wagga mental health unit.
Two mental health patients have died by suicide in Wagga Wagga in the past six years.
One patient ended his life in the hospital’s emergency department in two thousand seven, while another died when on leave from the Wagga Wagga Mental Health Unit in two thousand eleven. The woman’s allegations came at the ninth of ten public forums into seclusion and restraint practices in New South Wales mental health units. Eveanne Morris alleged that her request to reduce medication was refused.
Miss Morris and her husband gave written and oral submissions to the inquiry that detailed years of mistreatment. She told the inquiry she had been left cold, scared, humiliated, intimidated, bullied and fearful like a caged animal for more than nine hours.
She said at one point she attempted suicide in a seclusion room with the elastic from the pants she was wearing. Miss Morris told the inquiry if medications drove people to the point of madness so they needed to be detained, there was a need for a major review of the forced drugging of mental health patients. The inquiry is being headed up by NSW chief psychiatrist Murray Wright, who said the purpose of the forums was to paint a statewide picture of patients’ treatments in mental health units.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) director of mental health, drug and alcohol services, Robyn Manzie, responded to questions from the ABC about Wagga’s psychiatrics, but did not clarify the number of full-time psychiatrists in the region. MLHD said it was not going to employ more psychiatrists because all mental health services were fully covered by the combined fly-in and phone staffing plan.
Premier Jay Weatherill and his new health minister have unveiled “new, state-of-the-art health facilities” at the Flinders Medical Centre as they prepare for closure of the Repat. The pair today toured new one hundred eighty five million dollar facilities on the site, which include a fifty five-bed rehab centre, a fifteen-bed palliative care facility and thirty-bed older person’s mental health unit. Mister Weatherill and Health Minister Peter Malinauskas were joined by senior doctors and nurses from the Repatriation General Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.
The buildings have reached technical completion. Final touches will be added over the next month ahead of services and patients relocating from the Repat later this year. A new one thousand eight hundred twenty-space car park has already opened, which the Government says will ensure appropriate capacity. The rehab facility will include gymnasiums, hydrotherapy pool and robotic equipment. Patients and families from the palliative care unit will have access to a large rooftop garden and fifteen single rooms, all with individual bathrooms, providing greater privacy. The older person’s mental health unit features thirty single rooms with private ensuites, expanded research and staff areas, and a large courtyard garden as the centrepiece.
It is hoped a large-scale research project will help provide clearer solutions for tackling smoking rates among pregnant Indigenous women across the country. In two thousand fourteen it was reported forty five percent of surveyed Indigenous mothers smoked during pregnancy, compared to thirteen percent of non-Indigenous pregnant women. Those figures have spurred University of Newcastle associate professor Gillian Gould to study what can be done to help reduce rates of Indigenous women smoking while pregnant. She stated: “It’s not only that they may be born with low birth rate, or have risks of premature birth, but it can set them up for things like obesity, diabetes, a higher risk of heart disease, and lots of respiratory illnesses.
Associate Professor Gould has been working on the multi-phase research project for a number of years. In the first phase of the study, the research team worked with Indigenous communities in the New South Wales Hunter Valley to develop a suite of resources to train health providers in supporting women while they quit smoking. Many of those resources have been digitally focused. Phase two involved a pilot project using those resources, and was implemented in NSW, South Australia and Queensland. With the pilot study finished, the research is now expanding into thirty Aboriginal medical centres around the country, with the Supporting Indigenous Smokers to Assist Quitting or SISTAQUIT project aiming to help four hundred fifty Indigenous women quit smoking. Cultural sensitivities are observed in the training materials, and Associate Professor Gould said that helped build trust.
The study is set to last until two thousand twenty one, and Associate Professor Gould was optimistic the approach would help reduce rates of smoking.