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Mental health patients being left in hospital EDs

The State Liberals are concerned for the welfare of hospital patients and staff with new figures showing mental health patients are being kept in Emergency Departments for more than 24 hours.

Today there were four mental health patients who had been waiting more than 24 hours in metropolitan Emergency Departments.

This is despite Health Minister Jack Snelling promising in December 2014 that no one needing mental health care would have to wait in a hospital Emergency Department for more than 24 hours by 1 January 2016.

“An Emergency Department is not an appropriate environment to support the recovery of a person with mental health issues,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“Little more than a week into 2016 and the State Labor Government has failed to deliver its promise and mental health patients are being left languishing in hospital Emergency Departments.

Yesterday, there were three overdue patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and one at the Queen Elizabeth. Today, all four are at the RAH.

“These patients are waiting for a bed because our inpatient mental health wards are full to the brim,” said Mr Wade.

“Five of our metropolitan mental health wards are operating at or above capacity at code white, with another three operating at code red.

“The Government claims that from October 2014 to November 2015 the number of patients waiting more than 24 hours reduced from nine per day to two.

“What today’s figures show is that the Government has failed to meet its promise that there would be no one needing mental health care waiting in our EDs for more than 24 hours by 1 January 2016.”