28 March 2023

Dhulwa revealed as source of alleged patient privacy breach as Mental Health Minister fights no confidence motion

| Claire Fenwicke
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The data of 13 Dhulwa patients was sent to the nursing and midwifery union. Photo: Google Maps.

A team at the troubled Dhulwa mental health unit was behind the recent alleged patient privacy data breaches.

The revelation was made as Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson fought a motion of no confidence in the Legislative Assembly this morning (Tuesday, 28 March).

“A small number of staff shared to ANMF entire patient histories, including last experiences of trauma and aspects of their identity that are deeply personal,” she said.

“I have sought advice about naming the mental health team involved … this was in one team, and I can confirm it was in Dhulwa.

“I do not name Dhulwa lightly … in naming Dhulwa we need to be clear that the people whose privacy was breached are those who are most at risk of exploitation, manipulation and abuse, and their rights have been violated.”

One team member has been terminated and two others stood down.

READ ALSO Union attempts to drag CHS executives and Minister into privacy breach web as affair heads for legal showdown

A previous inquiry into Dhulwa recommended all staff and new recruits receive updated training over privacy, ethics, rights of consumers to confidentiality and legislative requirements.

Ms Davidson noted more than 11,000 Canberra Health Services staff have updated their training on privacy for patient records as part of the Digital Health Record rollout.

She called on the Canberra Liberals to have patience when wanting more information.

“I cannot provide more detail on what has happened at this moment, and I will update the Assembly and community when I can,” Ms Davidson said.

“But I want these people to have justice, I want them to have dignity, I want them to have respect.”

More to come.

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