MORE than 200 psychiatric patients died in ”unexpected, unnatural or violent” circumstances last year, a report by Victoria’s chief psychiatrist reveals. Six patients died by committing suicide in hospital but most of the 237 deaths occurred in the community…Dr Vine’s annual report for 2009-10 shows that 14 per cent of inpatients were secluded, or confined in a room locked from the outside, in what guidelines say should be used only when a patient poses an immediate risk to himself or others.
A total of 1828 patients were secluded and there were 6059 episodes of seclusion, up slightly from the previous year. More than 1100 were for longer than 12 hours. A total of 1750 patients received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), including 83 children, the youngest of whom was 13.