Emergency Departments (EDs) receive persons suffering major disturbances in their mental capacities, detained and transported by police or ambulance. The Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) (‘PHA’) – amended and in force 5 March 2017 – requires police and ambulance officers to make out an Emergency Examination Authority (EEA) at handover.1 Previously, Emergency Examination Orders (EEOs) were made out under Queensland’s Mental Health Act 2000 (‘MHA’). At handover, police and ambulance officers must make out an EEA. From handover at the ED, the PHA prescribes specific responsibilities, e.g. a doctor or health practitioner must explain to the person that they may be detained for 6-12 hours, the ED Director can order their forced return if they abscond and must take reasonable steps to return patients to a place requested.
Using qualitative and quantitative information the study focuses on the time and personnel resources required to investigate how EDs in north Queensland have responded.
No study has assessed the impacts on Queensland EDs of increasing numbers of mental health related presentations in light of legislative changes governing emergency assessment
- The Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre
- Clough, A.R., Evans, A., Graham, V., Catterall, J., Lakeman, R., Gilroy, J., Pratt, G., Petrucci, J., Orda, U., Sehdev, R., Thornton, N., Das, S., Yearsley, G., Stone, R., 2023. Emergency examination authorities in Queensland, Australia. Emergency Medicine Australasia. https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.14201
- Clough, A.R., Evans, A., Grant, K., Graham, V., Catterall, J., Lakeman, R., Gilroy, J., Pratt, G., Petrucci, J. and Stone, R., 2021. Recent amendments to Queensland legislation make mental health presentations to hospital emergency departments more difficult to scrutinise. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 34(1), pp.130-133.
Dr Richard Stone
Prof Alan Clough
Dr Ulrich Orda
Dr Rajesh Sehdev
Dr Neale Thornton
Mr Joe Petrucci
Senior Constable Angela Evans
Dr Richard Lakeman
Ms Katherine Fenech
Ms Kristy Grant