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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2127 ..


Office for Disability and draws on elements of The Washington Group Questions - Short Set (question component) and the Mental State Examination (observational component).


Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—psychotropic medications use(Question No 277)

Mrs Kikkert asked the Minister for Families and Community Services, upon notice, on 14 May 2021:

(1) In relation to the provision of psychotropic medications to detainees at Bimberi, (a) under what specific conditions are psychotropic medications administer to detainees, (b) who determines if such medications are administered (either as continuing treatment or as a new treatment) and (c) how is the use of such medications monitored.

(2) Are psychotropic medications ever administered at Bimberi as a means of subduing detainees or controlling difficult behaviours; if so, (i) who makes this decision, and (ii) how is such usage monitored.

Ms Davidson: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Services of Canberra Health Services is responsible for the provision of health services within Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. When a young person enters Bimberi, a health assessment is conducted which may include the provision of prescription and non-prescription medication.

a) Psychotropic medications are prescribed to young people at Bimberi where there is an established history or current active symptoms of a diagnosable mental illness. Psychotropic medications are regulated under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and can only be prescribed for specific diagnoses approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Psychotropic medication is only administered to a young person detained at Bimberi on the advice of Canberra Health Services.

b) The decision to prescribe, or to continue to prescribe psychotropic medications, may be made by either a General Practitioner (GP) or Psychiatrist depending on the nature of the mental health concern. GPs are typically responsible for the primary health care of mild-moderate mental health conditions and psychiatrists are responsible for the care of moderate to severe mental illnesses, in line with community mental health care provision.

c) Medication management training for Bimberi staff is conducted prior to any medications being administered by staff. This compulsory training is attended by Bimberi Management, Unit Managers, and Team Leaders who are authorised to administer medications to young people following successful completion of this training. When administering medications to young people, Bimberi staff are required to follow specific practice guidelines. Canberra Health Services is responsible for the provision of all health services at Bimberi including the monitoring of medications.


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