13 Jul 2016

Inquiry into Waikato patient's death

3:14 pm on 13 July 2016

A patient at a Waikato mental health centre has been found dead while on unsupervised leave, the night before she was due to be discharged.

Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre

Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre Photo: Supplied

The Waikato District Health Board said it was reviewing the death of the woman, who was a patient at the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre in Hamilton.

DHB spokesman Derek Wright said when she did not return as expected in the early hours of 7 July, the centre contacted police.

Police confirmed a woman was found dead in bushes near the Waikato River that day, and her death had been referred to the Coroner.

The Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre has been under fire since the death of patient Nicky Stevens, 21, who was let out on an unsupervised smoke break while on suicide watch last year.

It was not until two days after he went missing that police launched a search, which has since prompted wide-scale reviews across the police department.

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