Glenside Hospital, Special Stay Unit

27 Mar 2007 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse a question about the Special Stay Unit.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Last year I asked a number of questions in relation to the closure of the Special Stay Unit for detainees experiencing mental health difficulties at Glenside. A document which has come into the possession of the opposition under freedom of information relates to the performance reviews of the Central Northern Adelaide Health Service. As at June 2006, it states:

Mental health’s financial position is a $0.9 million surplus (consistent with last month) attributable to a range of issues such as. . . the closure of the commonwealth immigration detainees ward.

My questions are:

1. Is the state or commonwealth funding provided under a contract with DIAC?

2. Is the MOU current or has it expired?

3. What recommendations has the government implemented from the Palmer report into the detention of Cornelia Rau?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO(Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): Since 2001, the Glenside campus has provided a range of services to commonwealth immigration detainees, including distance consultation and mental health in-patient services where needed. In 2005, as a result of the increasing demand of commonwealth immigration detainees requiring mental health services, an unused six-bed unit at the Glenside campus was temporarily opened, and this unit became known as the special stay unit. As at 30 January 2007, there were three detainees at Glenside on acute wards who were receiving treatment as per the process for usual Glenside residents. As at 28 February 2007, one immigration detainee was being managed in the CNAHS acute mental health ward.

As I have repeatedly said in this place, the special stay unit is currently unoccupied. It has not been closed down permanently, but it can be utilised when demand necessitates such services being used. In relation to the funding, I would need to check the figures and I am happy to bring back a response.

I believe that the MOU is still current, but again I am quite happy to double check that and bring back a response. In terms of the Palmer report, we are here to provide quality mental health services to detainees when needed. We have done that in the past and we continue to do that.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. In relation to the detainees to whom the minister referred in her answer, will the minister advise whether the acute mental health wards that she mentioned are acute beds within the hospital system or at Glenside?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I believe that a range of services have been used according to the needs of each particular detainee. I believe that some of those services have been provided at acute wards on the Glenside campus and it may be—though I would need to check—that acute services may have been provided through other service providers. However, as I said, I am not sure of that. What I can guarantee is that appropriate services are provided according to the assessed clinical need of each individual.