The resignation of Chief Psychiatrist Aaron Groves, seven weeks after his damning report on Oakden was released, is a vote of no confidence in Minister Vlahos’ plan and her capacity to deliver positive change.
“Leesa Vlahos chose to ignore key components of the Chief Psychiatrist’s recommendations on replacing the scandal ridden Oakden facility and now Aaron Groves is walking out the door,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.
“The patched-up Northgate facility does not have key facilities Dr Groves identified as necessary in his Oakden Report.
“Dr Groves detailed that a care facility for this patient group needs a range of facilities such as private bathrooms and a direct line of sight from the patient’s bed to their toilet. Northgate will not deliver this level of care.
“The Chief Psychiatrist’s resignation is confirmation that the Weatherill Government has bungled its handling of the Oakden scandal.
“The fact the Premier and his Minister have blamed everyone and anyone, without taking responsibility themselves, may well have contributed to the Chief Psychiatrist’s resignation.
“At the Premier’s first press conference on the Chief Psychiatrist’s report, he criticised Dr Groves for not highlighting the problems earlier:
“We have in place a range of mechanisms for checking the safeguard and the safety and the wellbeing of residents at facilities of this sort. We have a Public Advocate, we have a Chief Psychiatrist that has responsibilities under his enabling legislation … It’s deeply disturbing that none of those agencies were able to reveal the depth of the difficulties that were occurring at Oakden.”
“When the Premier is willing to throw you under a bus to protect his Minister, why would you stay around?”