Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Cassandra Morgan

Vic health service fined $100k after death

A court has fined Bendigo Health over a patient's death at a psychiatric unit in 2016. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

A regional Victorian health service has been convicted and fined $100,000 after a mental health patient took their own life at a psychiatric unit in 2016.

Bendigo Health on Tuesday pleaded guilty in Bendigo Magistrates' Court to failing to ensure people other than workers weren't exposed to health and safety risks.

The charge arose after a patient showed up at Bendigo Health's emergency department asking for help and reporting suicidal thoughts, and was involuntarily admitted to the Alexander Bayne Centre in August 2016.

Later that month, they took their own life at the psychiatric unit. It was reasonably practicable for Bendigo Health to reduce the patient's risk of injury or death, the court was told.

The patient's death was a tragic incident that could have been prevented, WorkSafe health and safety director Narelle Beer said.

"This is an extremely sad incident that should never have happened," Dr Beer said.

"Every employer has a duty to do everything they can to reduce risks to the health and safety of everyone within a workplace, including those associated with intentional self-harm."

Bendigo Health pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and accepted the court's decision, a spokeswoman for the health service said.

The service offered its deepest sympathies to the patient's family.

"Following the coroner's report we have made a number of changes to our protocols and practices. Our entire service strives for continuous improvement," the spokeswoman said.

The court also ordered Bendigo Health to pay about $5000 in costs.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.