The State Liberals have released a letter from the Principal Community Visitor Maurice Corcoran to Mental Health Minister Leesa Vlahos calling for an independent inquiry into Oakden in October last year, three months before the Minister eventually appointed the Chief Psychiatrist to conduct a review.
“Maurice Corcoran’s letter, obtained under FOI, fatally undermines the Minister’s claim she acted as soon as she became aware of the need for an inquiry into Oakden,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.
Maurice Corcoran writes: ‘Furthermore, I believe that given the number of issues and incidents that have arisen … I recommend an independent review of Oakden Services for Old People.’
‘I believe this is required to ensure that our elderly South Australian citizens continue to receive the treatment, care and support they deserve.’
“Leesa Vlahos was warned of the need for an independent inquiry in October but by her own admission did nothing until December and waited until January to formally appoint Dr Aaron Groves to head the inquiry," said Mr Wade.
“Minister Vlahos claims there was a culture of cover-up amongst the workers at Oakden yet she has failed to reveal the existence of numerous critical documents as to what she knew about Oakden.
“The letter from the Principal Community Visitor is just the latest critical document that Minister Vlahos tried to suppress.
“Minister Vlahos failed to reveal the Zappia letter in which she was first warned of the very real possibility of death and serious injury at Oakden in December 2014.
“Minister Vlahos was dragged kicking and screaming to release the Stafrace and Lilly Report that had alerted the State Government to at least 13 ‘serious issues’ which have never been addressed.
“Minister Vlahos accidently revealed she had only spoken to the Mental Health Commissioner about Oakden in passing in a Bunnings carpark.
“Minister Vlahos sat on the Groves Report into Oakden for 11 days before belatedly releasing it for public scrutiny.”