6 May 2014

Investigation wanted into lack of mental health services

4:36 pm on 6 May 2014

A Coroner has called for an investigation into why some adults with an intellectual disabililty in the Nelson Marlborough region cannot access appropriate community care.

Ian Smith has been holding an inquest into the death of Jasmin Gotty, 24, who accidentally drowned in the Pelorus River area last year. She was found eight days after being discharged from the mental health inpatient unit in Nelson.

Ms Gotty's IQ had been assessed as being around 63. She also had mental health problems including psychosis.

The inquest has heard how in the Nelson Marlborough area, a patient who had an underlying intellectual problem that was not diagnosed until they were over the age of 18, had no access to specific supported facilities.

Mr Smith said that is unacceptable and he is calling for the district health board and the Ministry of Health to resolve it.

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said it had recognised there was a gap in services, accepted the findings of the Coroner and had already started steps to resolve the issue.