An Auckland psychiatrist has become the first to appear on a name and shame website about mental health workers breaching the Health and Disability Code.

The psychiatrist was named over an incident this year where a patient was allegedly wrongly discharged.

A Mental Health Services internal review of the incident cleared the psychiatrist’s professional performance of any fault.

The website was set up by Auckland counsellor Steve Taylor after he said he became “incensed at seeing New Zealand mental health (workers) not being held accountable for negligent and grossly incompetent practice”.

On his website, Taylor said he disagreed with the Health and Disability Commission’s policy of naming a provider only if they breached the code three times within five years.

“This decision leaves far too much room for damage to be done.”

Mental Health Commission (MHC) chairman Peter McGeorge has previously said the website was not the right way for people to complain about their treatment.

“District health boards have procedures and the MHC exists specifically to deal with these situations,” he said.

He said the website ran the risk of naming people “who may be entirely innocent of wrongdoing because a robust process has not been followed”.

McGeorge also warned that the website might be an added pressure which would push people away from working in mental health.

“Most mental health staff do an excellent job in often very stressful circumstances. Singling individuals out in the manner suggested may make the situation worse in the long run and conflicts with the principles of natural justice.”

NZPA