Health Services Union representative Wayne Lewry is criticial of a police decision to stop helping ambulance officers transfer some patients.
Health Services Union representative Wayne Lewry is criticial of a police decision to stop helping ambulance officers transfer some patients.

Patient transfer hits crisis point

PARAMEDICS at Byron Bay need police help to transfer unstable mental health patients at least once a month.

Health Services Union representative Wayne Lewry said the situation was already at crisis point and he is critical of a police decision to stop escorting patients from hospital to hospital.

“We are going into negotiations to try and solve the problems in relation to the safety of our officers and the welfare of patients,” he said.

“They say patients should be sedated or restrained, but even our mechanical restraint devices need police assistance to put them on 75 to 80 per cent of the time.”

Police corporate spokesperson for mental health Dave Donohue said the change started in metropolitan areas on Monday. It starts in rural areas from February 1.

“We have consulted with the executive of NSW Health and they agree it is the most appropriate way forward in terms of care and destigmatising the patient,” he said.

“If someone rings up from a GP or anywhere in the community and is in crisis and the ambulance is the most appropriate response, if they request a police officer then we will continue to do that.

 



End of an era: Ballina's best-loved home on the market

premium_icon End of an era: Ballina's best-loved home on the market

Retro 50s beach house in prime beach location

When will the Ballina waterslides open?

premium_icon When will the Ballina waterslides open?

The temperatures are heating up and the slides look pretty inviting

'ICON GONE': Beloved pub shuts its doors

premium_icon 'ICON GONE': Beloved pub shuts its doors

Owners say the decision was made with "a heavy heart”

Local Partners