5 Oct 2011

Apology sought after discharged patient's attack

4:30 pm on 5 October 2011

An Auckland couple attacked by a relative who had been released from a mental health hospital on the same day want an apology from the district health board and the Government.

Jo and Mark Heighton were attacked by Mrs Heighton's brother in September, after the mental health unit Te Whetu Tawera had deemed him fit to go back into the community.

He has been charged with the attempted murder of Mr Heighton.

Last week, Mrs Heighton asked the Minister of Health to look into the unit and why it believed her brother was well enough to be discharged.

She has not heard back, she says, but says someone needs to front up with an apology and an assurance it won't happen again.

In Parliament on Tuesday, Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said court proceedings prevented him from commenting on the issue.