View Comments
Man wrongly held, drugged doing well
Minister for Mental Health Helen Morton . Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Minister for Mental Health Helen Morton today revealed more details of the incredible mix-up at Graylands Hospital that led to the wrong man being picked up by police and given a strong anti-psychotic drug.

As revealed in The West Australian this week, the 22-year-old suffered a bad reaction to the powerful drug and was taken to hospital.

Mrs Morton said health authorities have been in contact with the misidentified man and he was doing “really well”.

She said he spent Thursday night in Royal Perth Hospital where he underwent tests and was given the all clear.

“He’s had tests that have indicated that he’s free of anything that would be considered abnormal as a result of Clozapine in his bloodstream,” Mrs Morton said.

She also said that the man told police he was the missing schizophrenia sufferer, who had absconded from Graylands hospital two days earlier, on December 14.

“This man was in a public place at 3 o’clock in the morning and behaving in an unusual manner that gave rise to suspicions that he was the man, and there are other circumstances at the time that gave a very clear suggestion that he had recently been discharged from, or recently absconded from, a hospital,” she said.

Police asked the man if he was the missing patient, and he replied that he was.

“He responded to his name with yes, and was asked if he would like to go back to the hospital, and he said yes,” Mrs Morton said.

She said how the man was then wrongly identified at Graylands was still the subject of a clinical review.

But she said the duty doctor at the hospital was asked if the missing patient should be given his overdue Clozapine medication.

“The duty doctor indicated that that did need to happen, and he was administered that medication in tablet form, he was then taken to his room and it was in the process of being taken to his room that it became known to the staff that he wasn’t the involuntary patient,’ she said.

Staff became “quickly aware” that they had the wrong patient, after a staff member raised the alarm and the man did not know where his room was.

She said within two hours of being admitted to Graylands he was taken to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital, from where he was discharged the next day.

She said there was every suggestion the man should be compensated and she would pursue this once the clinical review was complete on January 4.

She said three reviews were underway, a clinical review by the acting director of nursing at Graylands, an independent review by the chief psychiatrist and a "root cause analysis" undertaken by the Health Department.