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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1132 ..



Question No 10

Canberra Hospital - Electro Convulsive Therapy Incident

Mr Stanhope - asked the Minister for Health and Community Care upon notice on 21 May 1998

(1) Has there been a complaint made this month about a serious incident in the psychiatric unit of The Canberra Hospital; if so, what are the circumstances of the incident.

(2) What policies and procedures are to be followed by treating staff when assessing the capacity of a patient to give informed consent for treatment; in particular, is the patient's capacity reassessed before each treatment.

(3) Were these policies and procedures applied in the case referred to in (1) and are these policies adequate.

(4) What external review processes are in place to ensure that the patient's rights are protected; in particular,

(a) are there any additional provisions to protect the rights of a patient admitted as an involuntary patient and who subsequently becomes a voluntary patient;

(b) were these processes used in the case referred to in (1), and

(c) are these processes adequate.

(5) What training are staff given in administering Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT).

(6) Is there any supervision of each application of ECT.

(7) Has the adequacy of training and supervision of staff administering ECT been reviewed in the light of the incident referred to in (1).

Mr Moore - the answer to the Member's question is:

(1) The circumstances of the incident are as follows. A man suffering from depression was assessed by two consultant psychiatrists and in their opinion Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) was indicated as the first line of treatment. The clients consent was sought and obtained, it was informed consent. All policies and procedures in the preparation and delivery of the client to the theatre suite were adhered to, both in terms of documentation and clinical practice. It is the belief that the policies are adequate. The circumstances surrounding the incident are related to mixed communication between the

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