Chief Psychiatrist Review into events at ANU 18 September 2023

A review into the distressing events which occurred at ANU on 18 September, which will be led by the ACT’s Chief Psychiatrist, has now commenced. This comprehensive review includes two key components:

  • A clinical review, with a focus on the incident on 18 September.
  • An expanded review, with a focus on best practice for mental health services to manage individuals found not guilty due to a mental impairment by the courts and transferred from custody into the care of mental health services.

The clinical review will be undertaken by a Special Purpose Quality Assurance Committee (QAC). Membership of the Clinical Review Panel includes experts from outside the ACT, including:

  • A Forensic Psychiatrist from Victoria
  • A Forensic Mental Health Nurse from Queensland
  • A consumer advocate from Victoria

The Chief Psychiatrist’s expanded review will similarly include experts in forensic practice and mental health law, and its membership will be finalised shortly. The Chief Psychiatrist will seek input from a variety of relevant stakeholders to understand their perspectives, which may include police, ambulance and carers.

Emma Davidson, Minister for Mental Health welcomed the establishment of the Chief Psychiatrist’s review:

“The Chief Psychiatrist and experts engaged for this part of the review will meet with relevant stakeholders to understand their perspectives.

“The external experts will also provide best practice advice to the Chief Psychiatrist from a review of processes in other jurisdictions and research. This will enable the Chief Psychiatrist to formulate recommendations for the ACT.”

The QAC report will be provided to the responsible Director General before the end of 2023. However, it will not be released publicly due to the strict privacy of protected information provisions under the Health Act 1993. Advice will be sought from the Chief Psychiatrist to consider what information can be released publicly without compromising the privacy and confidentiality of people involved.

The Chief Psychiatrist has indicated that his report following the expanded review should be completed by January 2024.

/Public Release. View in full here.