11 May 2018

Around-the-clock supervision of mental health units and targets to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint will be introduced under a plan to significantly improve mental health care in NSW.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies and Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the plan will also include mandatory public reporting of seclusion and restraint rates and more training of frontline staff.

This Plan will help ensure frontline staff provide the very best for mental health patients with dignity, empowerment and respect at the forefront of their care, Mrs Davies said.

For the first time, targets to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint will be included in annual performance agreements with local health districts.”

The plan outlines 27 actions to address all 19 recommendations made by the Review of seclusion, restraint and observation, which were accepted by the NSW Government in December last year.

The tragic death of Lismore woman Miriam Merten was the catalyst for change and now we have a plan that will greatly improve the safety of mental health patients and better support staff,” Mrs Davies said.

We would like to thank consumers, their families, peak mental health organisations and NSW Health staff for their immense efforts over the past 12 months.”

Mr Hazzard said each local health district and specialty network will also work with patients, carers and staff on a localised seclusion and restraint prevention plan.

“People living with mental illness, and their families and carers, deserve and need to have complete confidence in the NSW health system, Mr Hazzard said.

The NSW Government has also committed an initial $20 million to improve the therapeutic environment inside acute mental health units across the State.

Implementation of action items has already begun with all items expected to be complete by July 2019. To view the Plan visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/patients/mentalhealth.

To be involved in the design of your local seclusion and restraint prevention plan visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/lhd.