Waikato Times - - News -

❚ The Coro­ner made sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions in his find­ings in­clud­ing the Waikato DHB re­view its con­sul­ta­tion poli­cies and in­clude steps to min­imise dif­fer­ences be­tween statu­tory du­ties and fam­ily ex­pec­ta­tions in care and treat­ment.

❚ He urged the Waikato DHB re­view its es­corted leave pol­icy, say­ing leave al­lo­ca­tions for pa­tients should be more closely mon­i­tored and those al­low­ing pa­tients to leave a closed ward should be able to quickly es­tab­lish if they re­turned.

❚ Feed­back from fam­ily and friends on how a pa­tient be­haves on leave should be as­sessed when they re­turn and in­cor­po­rated into a treat­ment plan.

❚ Nicky was a smoker and since the DHB’s pol­icy was to be smoke-free he had to leave premises to have a cig­a­rette.

❚ Al­though the Coro­ner ap­plauded the smoke-free pol­icy, he rec­om­mended that con­sid­er­a­tion be given to at risk pa­tients to smoke in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

❚ Smoke­free rooms with me­chan­i­cal ven­ti­la­tion should be pro­vided where pa­tients are un­der com­pul­sory care al­lowed for un­der the Smoke­free Act, he rec­om­mended.

❚ In a let­ter fam­ily said the DHB was re­spon­si­ble for Nicky’s death and ‘‘has made no ef­fort to sup­port the fam­ily since that time’’.

❚ The DHB funded only mi­nor coun­selling sup­port for fam­ily, they said, de­spite ex­ten­sive le­gal bills to front a coro­nial in­quest.

❚ Coro­ner Bain also agreed there was a need for an in­de­pen­dently funded whanau ad­vo­cacy ser­vice to help pro­vide fam­i­lies with le­gal aid rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Find­ings from the re­port have been for­warded for re­view as part of an in­quiry into the coun­try’s mental health sys­tem.

❚ ‘‘It is hoped that the ma­jor over­haul of the mental health sys­tem will go a long way to meet­ing the con­cerns that Ni­cholas Stevens’ par­ents have raised,’’ Coro­ner Bain said.

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