I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse a question about a death at Glenside.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Liberal Party has received information that on 17 April a client who had been detained for up to a year at Glenside (mainly in the Brentwood facility), a young woman aged in her early 30s who did not speak English, died of a heart attack. I am advised that she was being treated with Clozapine, an anti-psychotic medication. On the day in question, she took day leave with her sister. On her return, she complained of chest pain. An ambulance was called. She refused treatment. A second ambulance was called with a police escort but, unfortunately, she died. Can the minister confirm that, because there are no longer any medical support services at Glenside following the closure of the medical centre, this may have contributed to her death?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO(Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): Given the likelihood that this case will be the subject of a coronial inquest it is, therefore, not appropriate that I make any specific comments in relation to it. However, in a general context, significant support services are provided to the patients at the Glenside campus, in terms of comprehensive health needs being met, where needed.
These clients are more than adequately supported not only in terms of their mental health needs but also their general health needs. As I said, I am not able to comment in relation to the specific details around this case, given that it will most likely be the subject of a coronial inquest.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Sir, I have a supplementary question. In relation to the support services that the minister mentioned, can she advise whether the medical centre has, in fact, closed and whether there are any medical officers on site to deal with emergencies?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I am not able to provide the details of the exact services available, but I am happy to obtain those details and bring them back. I am certainly advised that more than adequate comprehensive psychiatric and medical support services are available to meet the comprehensive needs of all the patients at the Glenside campus, whether that is emergency services or otherwise.
Thursday 27 November 2008
In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (2 May 2007).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy): The Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse is advised:
The medical centre located on Glenside campus primarily provided care and mental health treatment for frail aged mental health patients as a result of chronic co-morbid medical conditions. It did not provide, as the name might suggest, acute general medical care.
In the event that any patient of Glenside campus needs acute general medical care they are assessed by a medical officer and if necessary are transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) for assessment and treatment.
In November 2006 the new purpose built facility for Aged Mental Health Care Services (AMHCS) opened at the Repatriation General Hospital and 30 AMHCS beds were transferred from Glenside campus to the new facility.
With the transfer of these beds to the new Repatriation General Hospital facility, the services previously provided by the medical centre were consolidated within alternate wards of AMHCS on Glenside campus. These wards were upgraded to accommodate this group of frail aged mental health patients.
A medical officer forms part of the emergency response team that provides rapid response to any medical emergencies occurring on Glenside campus. There has been no reduction in medical offers on site to deal with emergencies.
When necessary, patients are transferred by ambulance to the RAH emergency department for further assessment and treatment.
In addition to emergency medical responses for patients, there are comprehensive psychiatric and medical support services available to patients of Glenside campus.