Image via WikipediaCommunity mental health services in the Hutt Valley, especially the Maori Focus team, are reportedly reaching crisis point - not my words, but those of the people involved, and Nero (the Hutt Valley DHB) fiddles while Rome burns!
Last year the Hutt Valley DHB, for reasons never fully explained, scrapped the Maori Mental health Service, and most of the staff there have since left and found jobs elsewhere, a number in the Wellington Coast DHB area. Only one or two remain.
At present doctors, nurses and support staff are overworked and patients are beginning to suffer. They are under stress. Our particular family member couldn't see his doctor for five weeks, and communication was made through a temporary senior nurse. This is not satisfactory at all! He saw his doctor a couple of days ago - the first appointment since he was discharged from the TWA mental health unit at Hutt Hospital.
But the Hutt Valley DHB lives in its own little fantasy world, believing everything was under control. TWA has been under investigation from inspectors for some time because it's operating standards were inadequate and services had suffered as a consequence. But Nero continues to fiddle while Rome still burns!
Methinks its time for the Minister of Health to take himself and his pinstripe suit down to Hutt Hospital and sort things out before the mental health services in the Hutt Valley collapse under their own weight. Perhaps Wellington needs to take over in this particular area, because overall the Hutt Valley DHB appears to be managing well.