Goal to elim­i­nate seclu­sion

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

is­sue with the health board sev­eral years ago when the board’s rate of seclu­sion was among the high­est in the coun­try.

Seclu­sion in­volves a pa­tient be­ing left alone in a room they could not exit, and was used when pa­tients posed a risk to them­selves or oth­ers.

Solomon told the board on Tues­day dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing that seclu­sion was ‘‘a eu­phemism for soli­tary con­fine­ment of men­tal health pa­tients’’.

Solomon had been a fre­quent visi­tor to the men­tal health ad­mis­sion unit at Nel­son Hos­pi­tal, Wahi Oranga, and at­tended board meet­ings to mon­i­tor the is­sue.

In De­cem­ber 2015, seclu­sion use peaked across Nel­son Marl­bor­ough with 14 pa­tients se­cluded for more than 1045 hours al­to­gether. A re­port in 2016 showed seclu­sion rates in the re­gion were higher than any­where else.

A re­port to the board by chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Bramley said in the 2016/17 year, there was an av­er­age of three pa­tients in seclu­sion for 80.4 hours each month. But for the cur­rent year to date, there had been an av­er­age of eight pa­tients se­cluded for 208.5 hours each month.

Solomon said a re­port from Min­istry of Health stated the na­tional av­er­age seclu­sion by pa­tient should amount to 10 per cent of ad­mis­sions.

There were 40,000 hours of seclu­sion use in New Zealand last year and Nel­son Marl­bor­ough ac­counted for three per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, which equated to 1200 hours of seclu­sion use each year, or 100 hours each month.

Solomon said the cur­rent monthly av­er­age was at least dou­ble that and if that was the case with any other health tar­get, it would raise con­cerns with man­age­ment.

Bramley said it had been work­ing with the Health Qual­ity and Safety Com­mis­sion (HQSC) to re­duce seclu­sion use.

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