Journal article

Opening the doors: Critically examining the locked wards policy for public mental health inpatient units in Queensland Australia

Neeraj S Gill, Stephen Parker, Andrew Amos, Richard Lakeman, Mary Emeleus, Lisa Brophy, Steve Kisely

AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2021

Abstract

The Queensland Government issued a policy directive to lock all acute adult public mental health inpatient wards in 2013. Despite criticism from professional bodies and advocacy for an alternative, the policy has been retained to this day. A blanket directive to treat all psychiatric inpatients in a locked environment without individualised consideration of safety is inconsistent with least restrictive recovery-oriented care. It is against the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Australia is a signatory. It is also contrary to the main objects of the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld). Queensland Health has reported a reduction in 'absen..

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