July 08, 2022
DHB slammed for run down rangatahi unit
The Children’s Commissioner says problems found at a youth psychiatric facility point to under-resourcing and a lack of focus by health authorities on services for rangatahi.
The 12-bed Regional Rangatahi Adolescent Inpatient Service in Porirua is one of three such units around the country.
Francis Eivers says inspections by her office found poor maintenance including broken windows and locks, tired and depressing decor, and a seclusion area looking like a prison cell where distressed rangatahi were held for up to two-and-a-half days.
“Staffing levels weren’t sufficient, staff, and I absolutely tautoko them, they care about our mokopuna, they work really hard but they can only do what they can do and even their environment is not optimal, there is under-resourcing of staff, lack of training, lack of support, some of the methods are not optimal,” she says.
Judge Eivers says she would like to see an end to isolation units, as well as a by Māori, for Māori approach in forensic units.