Who are the Official Visitors?
Official Visitors are appointed by the NSW Minister for Health to visit people in mental health inpatient facilities in NSW and are available to assist consumers on community treatment orders.
Official Visitors are independent from the health system and come from the community from a range of cultural, professional and personal backgrounds.
They aim to safeguard standards of treatment and care, and advocate for the rights and dignity of people being treated under the NSW Mental Health Act 2007.
They make regular visits to all inpatient psychiatric facilities across NSW, they talk to patients, inspect records and registers, and report on the standard of facilities and services. They liaise with staff about any issues or concerns and report any problems to the Principal Official Visitor and/or the Minister for Health.
Official Visitors can listen to patients’ or carers’ concerns and help to resolve them, or, with permission, they can act to resolve it on their behalf.
Patients (consumers), carers, family, friends, staff and other people with an interest in the care and treatment of people with a mental illness can contact the Official Visitors.
Patients or carers can let the staff know if they want to see an Official Visitor during their next visit.
If you do not see an Official Visitor when they visit, you can telephone 1800 208 218 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, free of charge from within NSW.
In order for an Official Visitor to contact you, you need to tell the person who answers the phone:
- your name
- where you are (and the phone number)
If you need to speak to an Official Visitor outside of these hours, phone 1800 208 218 and leave a message, or ask the hospital staff to arrange it for you. The Official Visitor must be notified of the request within two days.
You can also leave a letter in the Official Visitors Box in the ward, or write to:
Locked Bag 5016,
Gladesville NSW 1675