Goulburn's Chisholm Ross Centre under fire

UNDER SCRUTINY: Patients are not being managed properly at the mental health facility, Chisholm Ross Centre in Clifford St due to employment of less experienced staff, says a source.

UNDER SCRUTINY: Patients are not being managed properly at the mental health facility, Chisholm Ross Centre in Clifford St due to employment of less experienced staff, says a source.

A MENTAL Health patient was able to access material to attempt suicide two weeks ago, a source has claimed.

It was one example of clients being placed at risk due to inexperienced staff, he says.

The Kenmore patient was treated at Goulburn Base Hospital the same day, September 10, after the attempt. 

“He was deemed at high-risk of self-harm but due to the inexperience of staff, he was able to get hold of devices,” the source said.

“They are not checking. In another case, a patient at Chisholm Ross had a pocket knife and five weeks ago management let out a separate patient into the community who had been smashing up the unit.

“If an elderly person or a child had been walking by, God knows what would have happened. The police eventually picked him up.”

However a spokesman said the Health District was not aware of this matter.

In the Kenmore incident, the source claimed a graduate nurse who had only been at the facility for nine months had been put in charge.

The Southern NSW Health District will only confirm that “an incident” took place. (See story P7).

The source said the same “inexperience” resulted in a male patient intimidating staff in Hume MP Angus Taylor’s office in early August.

The 47-year-old was on an approved two-hour release. While he was arrested, no charges eventuated.

The source said in another instance a was patient placed in seclusion for 24 hours, taken to the toilet in handcuffs and drank his own urine because he hadn’t been given water.

“The young staff were too scared to give him water because they didn’t want to open the door,” he said.

“...There are also a lot of errors with medication...In one instance a patient was given four times the scheduled dose and he nearly had a heart attack.”

In one instance a patient was given four times the scheduled dose and he nearly had a heart attack - Anonymous source

Staff also worked “excessive” overtime. 

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association and Goulburn District Unions have criticised the gradual “de-skilling” of health staff.

Commenting more broadly on health privatisation, the Association’s Goulburn Community Mental Health branch secretary, Colin Moore said deskilling affected staff and patient safety and privatisation would “make it worse.”

Read more:

Health defends staff skills

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