Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

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Stokes Report points to mental health service dysfunction

Friday 16 Nov 2012

The Barnett Government has presided over dysfunctional mental health services leading to the damning Stokes report, Shadow Minister for Health Roger Cook said today.


During a debate in Parliament today, Shadow Minister for Health Roger Cook, said the Stokes report into mental health services pointed to a lack of clinical governance and leadership and recommended a new executive director of mental health services to overcome the dysfunction.


"This report exposes the almost complete breakdown in the relationship between the Mental Health Commission and the Department of Health,” Mr Cook said.


"We know the leadership from both organisations are now almost incapable of talking to each other.


“The recommendation of the new executive director of mental health shows Professor Bryant Stokes has no confidence in the current arrangements.


"Professor Stokes is obviously concerned the mental health system and the poisonous relationship between the Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission is failing patients, carers and staff.


“The Mental Health Commission has been sidelined, marginalised and is treated as a bit player in the process of delivering mental health services.


"The Government has stripped out any sense of control or accountability in mental health, resulting in a system that is fundamentally flawed and lacks clinical governance and leadership.


“There are gaps so wide in the system that it is completely failing the very vulnerable people it is here to serve."


Mr Cook said it was unusual that the Government sat on the report until now even though it was completed back in July 2012.


"Clearly the Government is embarrassed by the report and wanted it buried until the last week of Parliament to escape scrutiny of its performance,” he said.


"This is a damning report of the Barnett Government's performance in mental health."