17 Jun 2014

Coroner calls for better follow-up care

10:17 pm on 17 June 2014

A coroner says better follow-up care for drug and alcohol addicted patients would save lives.

The recommendation has been made in an inquiry into the death of Victoria Cable, who was alone in her Upper Hutt home when she stopped breathing while drunk.

The 63-year-old was an alcoholic who had been discharged from Hutt Hospital a month before she died in 2012.

Ms Cable's former partner had tried to have her recommitted as he feared for her health, but was not able to.

Coroner Ian Smith says the proposed Substance Addiction Compulsory Treatment Bill needs to be amended to include home visits for patients who do not answer calls or go to appointments.

He said he has seen many deaths that would have been prevented by a home follow -up.

Mr Smith recommended that the bill be passed as soon as possible, with the suggested amendments.