22 Oct 2008

Call for more mental health facilities in Auckland

6:54 pm on 22 October 2008

Health professionals who dealt with a mentally-ill man before he died have told a Coroner more treatment facilities are needed in Auckland.

Shane Fisher, 26, who suffered from schizophrenia, was under the care of Te Whetu Tawera, the Auckland District Health Board's mental health unit, when he died in his family home in May 2006.

At a Coroner's inquest on Wednesday, a number of doctors said there needs to be more accommodation options for when a patient leaves hospital, as not everyone fits the same model of care.

The DHB says nothing could have been done to prevent Mr Fisher's tragic death.

Mr Fisher's mother, Sally Fisher, says the death has highlighted a number of inadequacies in the health system.

She told Checkpoint on Wednesday that the current state of mental health services in New Zealand is chaotic.

"Staff do not have the ability to safely discharge clients because they have nowhere for them to go to and because there is a shortage of beds."

The Coroner has reserved his findings.