Launceston General Hospital Wombat Wards Seclusion Practice Concerns Silenced by Management

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch is dismayed by
the response ANMF members working at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) have
received when raising child safeguarding issues related to the care of those patients with
mental health concerns.

‘ANMF members have been raising concerns for months now with respect to how those
pediatric patients with mental health conditions are being managed on Wombat Ward.
Members, in particular, are concerned with the environment and the seclusion of these
patients despite being admitted voluntarily,’ said ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily

Members have repeatedly lodged Safety and Learning Reporting System complaints, spoken
directly with management, lodged protected interest disclosures, and also raised the matter
directly with the Health Complaints Commissioner regarding the seclusion of voluntarily
admitted patients, which according to the Mental Health Act 2013, can only occur beyond a
mental health assessment through application to the Mental Health Tribunal.

‘Members continue to be incredibly concerned that voluntary mental health patients on
Wombat Ward are housed within a locked unit and, until very recently, have had no access
to televisions or any other diversional activities. This also included parents of patients
staying the night with their child without the consent of other patients’ parents.’

The ANMF continues to support members on Wombat Ward with respect to these important
issues pertaining to child safety and appropriate treatment of voluntary mental health


Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021