You are here

RHH Decant Leaves Psychiatric Unit Out in the Cold

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 28 November 2016

Tags: Health, Hospitals, Mental Health, Royal Hobart Hospital, RHH Redevelopment

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The decant of the Psychiatric Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital, due to start tomorrow, will drastically cut the quality of care for people in the greatest need.

In the decant premises the floor space will be halved.  This is space needed to stabilise and treat people admitted in extreme states of trauma and turmoil.

Health Minister, Minister Ferguson, had two and a half years to prepare for the decant.  What he's delivering is a sub-par hospital space for Tasmanians in the greatest need of psychiatric help. 

People experiencing psychosis or in severe mental ill-health need space more than any other group of patients.  Staff describe floor space as 'oxygen' for people in distress, helping them to keep calm, stabilise and heal.

The number of beds in the Psychiatric Unit has been reduced by 21% in preparation for the decant.  This means more stress for staff, and ultimately fewer beds available for people suffering severe mental illness.

The number of beds in the decant building will stay at this low level until the new hospital is built, unless the Minister looks to alternative spaces.  

It's simply not good enough to leave the Royal's Psychiatric Unit in this state for 3 years.

People in severe mental crisis, and their families, rely on the essential emergency service the Royal Hobart Hospital provides.  Halving the floor space, and cutting beds by 21%, is abandoning those in desperate need.