Patient taken to intensive care after hospital drug sharing
A PERSON was put into intensive care at Robina Hospital after four patients shared drugs.
Hospital insiders say nurses are too busy trying to learn new technology to make checks and the health service admits security is called only after a "reasonable suspicion".
A Gold Coast Health spokesperson said four inpatients of the mental health specialist services (MHSS) became "medically unwell" between May 5 and May 9 after consuming an unknown substance.
Early indications suggest it could have been amphetamines.
"One patient was admitted to the intensive care unit and has since been transferred back into the care of the MHSS," the spokesperson said.
"Investigations indicate these patients may have been offered the substance by one of the four consumers who became unwell."
The mental health facilities were not regarded as "secure facilities" and inpatients returning after approved leave were only asked to hand in cigarettes, lighters and any other contraband to staff.
"However, mental health staff are not authorised to search a patient's person unless there are clear grounds to believe the person has dangerous or harmful items in their possession," the spokesperson said.
"Where there is reasonable suspicion, staff can undertake additional searches with appropriate authorisation. We have taken the situation very seriously and worked closely with Queensland Police Service on the matter.
"Steps were taken to ensure patient safety, including a search of the ward by Queensland police with drug dogs.
"Early indications are that the substance may have been amphetamines."
Opposition health spokesperson Ros Bates told State Parliament yesterday that Health Minister Dr Steven Miles was "clearly clueless in his vague response" after she questioned him about the investigation.
A health source told the Bulletin: "Patients are not being searched when returning back to the ward. They come and go and could be bringing anything with them."