Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

District Inspector of Mental Health

District Inspectors are Lawyers appointed by the Minister of Health under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (the Act.)

District Inspectors assist people being assessed or treated under the Act by providing information and support to ensure their rights are being upheld.  In this way, District Inspectors provide an important safeguard if people are unhappy with the way they are treated under the Act.  This applies whether the person is being treated within an inpatient unit, or is an outpatient in the wider community being treated by any provider of mental health services.

District Inspectors are independent from Mental Health Services.

They are neither patient advocates nor legal advisors for the mental health services.  District Inspectors are required to be impartial and detached from the clinical decision making processes that affect individual patients.

The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act, 1999, has further clarified the powers, functions and duties of District Inspectors.

The Ministry of Health considers District Inspector functions to be valuable as they often assist the process of quality improvement at an individual service level.  In most cases, mental health services have used the process and recommendations of District Inspector reports to bring about positive changes in their service configuration and staff attitudes.

District Inspector for Mental Health Services in Taranaki is:

Murray Cochrane
Young Street
P O Box 243
New Plymouth
Tel: 06 757 3944
Fax: 06 757 3959

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Taranaki Mental Health Sector