Hospital Risks 'Ignored'; Security Measures Slammed after Patients Escape

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS GARRY chris.garry@qt.com.au

AN INVESTIGATION into how a convicted paedophile managed to escape The Park mental health facility has slammed the centre's poor security measures.

A 2008 report obtained by the Queensland LNP opposition under Right To Information laws, is damning in its assessment of how the staff and management at The Park, located in Wacol, acted prior to the escape.

The document said the facilities' philosophy of regarding itself as "a hospital, not a prison" had gone too far.

"The investigators overall formed a view that the security management of the HSU is flawed on several levels," the report said.

"The investigators also found that it is not a new situation as the flaws generally stem from design weakness and limited internal security expertise and capability."

On November 7, 2008, a paedophile escaped from the centre's Daintree Unit, a high security area, because of a lack of communication between staff and a faulty alarm system.

But Queensland Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said nearly all of the reports recommendations were being acted upon. …