Royal Adelaide Hospital failing to manage mental health demand

The Royal Adelaide Hospital is failing to manage the demand for mental health services, with the facility confirming this week that 23 people had been waiting in the emergency department.
Community advocate Maurice Corcoran from the Community Visitors Scheme said that the one patient had been waiting for six days for treatment, while three others has been waiting three days.
“It’s all too often that it’s happening to patients with a mental health presentation,” Corcoran told the ABC. It has a far more detrimental effect on these patients and their families and they really should not be in there for that length of time.”
“I don’t think opening up more beds is always the answer,” he said. “We have to have a really close look at how people are ending up in our emergency departments and whether we can do something better in the community way before they end up coming into the emergency department.”
The situation has been condemned by the state’s Health Minister Jack Snelling.
“It is just completely unacceptable to me that we have people having to wait for days at a time, mental health patients, for admission into an acute bed,” Snelling told the ABC. “I am determined to do something about it and I hope to have some announcements very shortly about what we’re going to do to fix this problem.
“We need better clinical governance over mental health to make sure that the system is working properly and to make sure people are being held accountable when the system is falling down,” he said.
“We’re probably a little on the light side for acute mental health beds compared to other states and it’s something I’m going to have a look at.”

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