Michelle Lensink

Glenside Wards Quietly Closed Despite Mental Health Bed Shortages

One Glenside ward has already closed and another is in the process of being closed despite a shortage of mental health beds, Shadow Minister for Mental Health Michelle Lensink said today.

Ms Lensink said the Cedars ward which specialises in care and treatment of elderly people with mental disorders has been closed, and North Glen extended care ward is currently in the process of being shut down.

“The community has already seen reports of mentally ill people having to be detained at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Emergency Department due to the lack of available psychiatric beds and yet the Rann Government continues to close wards at Glenside,” Ms Lensink said.

“Elderly patients on waiting lists for accommodation in the Cedars ward, a six bed annex of Glenside Hospital have been left high and dry after the ward was closed suddenly on the 6th October.

“I have been told by mental health workers that the 24 bed extended care unit of Glenside, the North Glen Ward is in the process of winding down for closure. Mental Health Minister Gail Gago confirmed during Estimates Committee that some extended care wards will close.

“Minister Gago continually denies the closure of Glenside as a mental health facility however does not deny that beds are being ‘reviewed’.

“After media reports of three ward closures in recent months, Minister Gago herself wrote a Letter to the Editor on September 17, stating that only two wards had shut and a third had ‘temporarily’ closed last Christmas.

“All we have heard is that the mental health system is going to be reformed and that there is a ‘master plan’ for Glenside. But how does moving Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia to Glenside constitute a master plan for mental health?

“When is Minister Gago going to let the community know what is going on with Glenside? The fact that the government has already closed down wards tells us that it already knows what is coming in the report by the Social Inclusion Board.”

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