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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are warned this press release contains the name of the deceased

National Network call for the immediate termination of funding to Anglicare for their sobering-up facility in Cairns following death

The recent tragic death of 32-year-old Patrina Pascoe at the Lyons St Diversionary Centre has raised serious concerns about the operations and management of the facility run by Anglicare.  Ms Pascoe was found dead on the premises in December 2023, a day after being picked up by the outreach bus. This incident has prompted the National Network to call for immediate action to ensure this never happens again.

Reports have surfaced indicating that despite the requirement for regular patient observations, Ms Pascoe  was not discovered until 2:30pm the following day. It has been reported in the media that crucial bed checks, mandated every 15 minutes, were allegedly missed. ‘This gross negligence is unacceptable and has tragically resulted in the loss of a life. Ms Pascoe ’s life mattered and so does her death. Action must be taken,’ said Debbie Kilroy.

‘No person should die in a sobering-up unit, said Debbie Kilroy. ‘This facility, designed to provide safety and support, has failed its fundamental duty. Anglicare’s management of the Lyons St Diversionary Centre has demonstrated a lack of commitment to the well-being and safety of its clients. Such a lapse in care is not only a breach of trust but also a grave injustice to the vulnerable people relying on these services,’ said Debbie Kilroy.

The history of management issues at the facility further underscores the need for urgent intervention. Previous reports have highlighted inadequate documentation, poor staff training, and neglectful behaviour, including staff falling asleep on the job and derogatory comments towards clients. These systemic failures have created an unsafe environment, culminating in the preventable death of Ms Pascoe .

We support Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher’s frustration and grief. He is quoted as saying, ‘We are tired of burying young people at a very young age, it’s very sad. This community deserves better, and it is imperative that immediate steps are taken to prevent further tragedies.

1. Immediate Termination of Funding to Anglicare for This Service: The current management has proven incapable of ensuring the safety and well-being of people in their care. Funding should be reallocated to organisations with a proven track record of effective, safe and compassionate care.

2. Transfer of Management to a Competent Organization: It is crucial that the management of the Lyons St Diversionary Centre be transferred to an organisation that can guarantee safe, humane, and life-affirming practices. The safety of the clients must be the foremost priority.

3. Comprehensive Review of Operational Procedures: A thorough review of the facility’s operations, staff training protocols, and patient care procedures must be conducted to ensure compliance with best practices and standards.

4.  An urgent independent investigation must be undertaken to uncover why Ms Pascoe died in the Anglicare facility.

The death of Patrina Pascoe is a tragic reminder of the vulnerability of those suffering from alcoholism and the responsibility of healthcare providers to protect and support them. Anglicare’s failure to do so must be addressed with urgency to prevent further loss of life.

For further comment, please contact Debbie Kilroy on 0419 762 474