Journal article

Widespread emergency department access block: a human rights issue in Australia?

Stephen Allison, Tarun Bastiampillai, Richard O'Reilly, Steven S Sharfstein, David Castle

AUSTRALASIAN PSYCHIATRY | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: There are increasing demands on emergency psychiatrists with higher numbers of mental health presentations, and longer stays in emergency departments (EDs). Australia, like other English speaking countries, funds considerably lower numbers of psychiatric beds than average for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Consequently, acute bed occupancy is high, and a bed is frequently unavailable when a person needs admission. Patients with serious mental illness can wait days in busy and overstimulating EDs, become agitated and assaultive, and then require chemical and physical restraint. All patients have a right to safe high quality care, but the p..

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University of Melbourne Researchers