Call for a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre
This petition had 1,613 supporters
The Barrett Adolescent Centre provided the only specialist 24 hour inpatient mental health service for adolescents, in Queensland, for over three decades. It has long catered for the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and was a safe-haven for countless individuals in need of a little extra support. In 2013 this centre was closed by the Queensland Government, with no immediate plans for the provision of an adequate, alternative option for the care of patients of the centre, and for the young people of Queensland. As a result, Queensland currently has no specialist facilities to provide care to young people with severe mental illness, and this has resulted in the deaths of two former patients of the centre within six months of its closure—the first in the history of the centre.
We request an inquiry into the administrative conditions, and actions undertaken under the banner of Queensland Health and subsidiaries; in relation to an institutional failing to provide for the best interests of the patients of the Barrett Adolescent Centre, in the months preceding and succeeding its closure in December, 2013. Specifically, we call for the investigation into allegations of misconduct and maladministration, at all levels, leading to the closure of the centre without providing adequate transitional care to the patients who were displaced; and the initiation of this process without proper regard for the wellbeing of the patients of the centre. Further, we call for the investigation into apparent breaches of duty of care, with regards to the seclusion and improper monitoring of patients with mental illness, strongly associated with suicidal ideation and who were previously under 24 hour observation, which appear to have directly led to the deaths of two former patients.
It is our hope that investigating this tragedy will help to prevent any further unnecessary loss of life, and that it will lead to the inception of a coordinated effort by the Queensland Government to address the present inadequacies in the mental healthcare services available to Queensland’s adolescents.
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