Ur­gent care clinic opens

Stirling Times - - News - Lau­ren Pi­lat

A SPE­CIFIC clinic is now open at Royal Perth Hospi­tal (RPH) to deal with pa­tients af­fected by drugs and al­co­hol need­ing emer­gency treat­ment.

The ur­gent care clinic (tox­i­col­ogy) opened this week at RPH emer­gency depart­ment to treat and man­age in­tox­i­cated and drug-af­fected pa­tients who could be dis­rup­tive or pose a se­cu­rity threat.

About 450 pa­tients af­fected by drugs and al­co­hol present to RPH each month.

Be­tween Jan­uary 1 and March 30 this year, RPH se­cu­rity dealt with 945 ag­gres­sive in­ci­dents, with 743 of those need­ing in­ter­ven­tion.

Within that pe­riod, 70 per cent hap­pened in the ED and 272 pa­tients needed to be phys­i­cally re­strained, while an­other 167 had to be se­dated.

Premier Mark Mc­Gowan said ur­gent care clin­ics took pres­sure off the busy emer­gency de­part­ments and would en­able pa­tients af­fected by al­co­hol and drugs to re­ceive ded­i­cated care within an emer­gency set­ting.

The clinic has six treat­ment spaces, in­clud­ing five beds and a chair, and will be staffed by ded­i­cated RPH med­i­cal and nurs­ing staff. They will be sup­ported by drug and al­co­hol spe­cial­ists, home­less health­care pro­fes­sion­als, men­tal health clin­i­cians and so­cial work­ers.

Men­tal Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said the clinic would tar­get “acute be­havioural dis­tur­bance, usu­ally from peo­ple af­fected by al­co­hol and drugs” who would need to stay less than 24 hours.

The clinic was part of a re­cent $11.8 mil­lion Bud­get com­mit­ment to build a Men­tal Health Ob­ser­va­tion Area Plus on the site.

RPH emer­gency nurse unit man­ager Sarah-Louise Moyes with Premier Mark Mc­Gowan, Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook and emer­gency medicine di­rec­tor David McCoubrie.

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