Mother-of-two's horror death on video is 'disgraceful'
THERE are calls for a parliamentary inquiry into NSW mental health services as Labor branded footage showing how a mother-of-two died in care a "Don Dale moment" for the system.
It comes after new Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies admitted she had only been made aware of the "horrific" footage after inquiries by The Daily Telegraph.
The shocking footage shows Miriam Merten staggering through the corridors of a Lismore hospital dying after being dumped drugged and naked without any food or water in a hospital's tiny "seclusion" room for hours.
The mother-of-two fell and hit her head at least 20 times as two nurses meant to be caring for ignored her cries for help in a "monumentally disgraceful" act of "complete indifference".
"My stomach actually turned at one point," Ms Davies said after seeing the images. "I got to a point where I just closed my eyes because I didn't want to see what was going to come next. I am still pretty much shaken by thinking that was happening to a lady. I was pretty disgusted."
Labor spokeswoman Tania Mihailuk said only a "full and transparent review" into the 2014 death of Miriam Merten at Lismore Base Hospital would restore faith in the system. "This is the Don Dale moment," she told The Daily Telegraph. "It is sickening and appalling ... Premier Gladys Berejiklian must act immediately."
A Royal Commission into youth detention in Northern Territory was instigated after shocking images exposed how a teenager was hooded and strapped to a chair at the Don Dale Detention Centre.
Ms Mihailuk said a parliamentary inquiry would allow mental health patients and loved ones to give testimony.
Ms Davies said "every part" of the death "was unacceptable". "Northern NSW LHD undertook a comprehensive audit ... mandated increased training for mental health staff, and changed its staff rostering to better provide care," she said. The Minister said she was open to supporting an inquiry into NSW mental health services, and would ensure any "areas, policies, procedures, protocols" that need to be strengthened were.