Agencies slam mental health shame website

Agencies in the mental health sector have slammed a website set up to name and shame providers and staff who breach codes of practice.

Auckland counsellor Steve Taylor set up the website after becoming "incensed at seeing New Zealand mental health (workers) not being held accountable for negligent and grossly incompetent practice".

On his website, Mr Taylor said he disagreed with the Health and Disability Commission's policy of naming a provider only if they breached the code three times within five years. The Health and Disability Commissioner and the Mental Health Commission have said the site could do more harm than good.

Waikato District Health Board's hospital and health services provider arm Health Waikato said both the Health and Disability Commissioner's officer and the workers' registration body already investigate complaints.

Board chief operating officer Jan Adams said all employers and professionals took complaints against individuals seriously.

The Public Service Association (PSA) said naming mental health workers on websites made a difficult job even harder.

"Using websites to publicly attack and condemn individual mental health workers is unfair and does nothing to improve mental healthcare," PSA assistant national secretary Warwick Jones said.

"We agree with the Health and Disability Commissioner, and the Mental Health Commission, that this type of scapegoating is unnecessary as there are systems in place to deal with complaints about mental health workers."

Mr Jones said Child Youth and Family social workers had suffered this type of attack on websites in the past.

"We opposed this practice in the past and we oppose it now because it's unfair, unnecessary and does not help improve the delivery of these essential public services." 

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