The Herald reports:
A petition for an autistic man held in an isolated wing of a mental health unit has garnered more than 2000 signatures in a day.
The family of Ashley Peacock, 38, launched their latest bid to see him moved to a community facility on Sunday, by calling for Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to intervene in their son’s case. …
The petition is calling for the Mr Coleman to intervene under Section 32 of the Public Health and Disability Act 2000.
“We request that Ashley Peacock be urgently relocated to an individualised service in the community with appropriate levels of support, with a clear time frame,” it said.
So far the Government has defended Ashley’s treatment, saying his case is “complicated” and safety was paramount.
The Capital and Coast District Health Board has previously said he had some of the “highest and most complex needs” and had issues with unpredictable violence.
I have sympathy for Peacock’s family. No one would want to see a family member locked up 22 hours a day.
However if Peacock does have unpredictable violent outbursts, the DHB does have a responsibility to staff and other patients to keep them safe.
The status quo looks pretty horrible, as being locked up 22 hours a day may be making his condition even worse. But finding a safe solution is I imagine very challenging.
It is easy to sign a petition as 2,000 people have done. They are demanding he be placed in the community. Would they be willing to have Mr Peacock in their community, or do they mean someone else’s community?