Vlahos fails Oakden patients again

The State Liberals have described the botched closure of Makk and McLeay wards at the disgraced Oakden facility as further evidence Minister Vlahos is simply not up to the job.

On 17th May, in response to two further alleged assaults at Oakden, Minister for Mental Health Leesa Vlahos told the media she was speeding up the closure of the facility and wanted it shut down within 20 days (tomorrow).

The Weatherill Government will not meet this commitment to close the Oakden facility within 20 days.

“Residents at Oakden have been placed at risk for far too long and it is unacceptable that the Minister has failed to make the facility safe and close it as she promised”, said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“It also appears that the Government has terminated Makk and McLeay’s ‘Approved Treatment Centre’ status despite the fact they still have patients in them.

“This means patients in Makk and McLeay will not have the protection offered by the Principal Community Visitor as he will no longer have authority to inspect those wards and raises questions whether they can be legally detained there.

“What in the world has Minister Vlahos been doing for the last six weeks?

“This is just the latest management failure of the Minister.  How long will the Premier inflict this Minister on vulnerable South Australians?

In Parliament last week, Minister Vlahos could not say whether staffing levels had been increased as she had directed following two allegations of assault referred to police since the Oakden report.

“Minister Vlahos’ botched closure of Oakden is compounded by the disgraceful revelation that federal accreditation authorities consider residents remain at ‘significant and immediate risk’ ”.

“It is appalling that federal authorities have found that residents continue have been subjected to serious medication incidents in recent days.  

“Leesa Vlahos’ failure to quickly shut down Oakden highlights just how damaging her initial failure to act was. Had she read the report when she received it no patients would be languishing in Makk and McLeay wards today.”