Mental health report snubbed by SDHB
A report recommending 100 mental health staff were needed for the Queenstown/Central Otago area was ignored by the Southern District Health Board (SDHB).
In 2013, Otago-based psychiatric nurse Kerry Hand was commissioned by the board to produce a mental health development plan for the area.
Among his recommendations were a “re-balancing exercise” to free up resources, and multi-function teams based in Central Otago towns, including two in the Wakatipu.
“Service in Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes has been a long-standing issue, with an absolute minimum of Southern DHB-funded services, and a dramatic mismatch to a large and rising population,” the report stated.
Using population figures, he estimated 100 staff were needed across the region.
But, six years on, staffing’s just a third of that.
The SDHB, though, says support has increased, and work to develop services is ongoing.