DHB 'didn't listen' to family's warning

  • 02/08/2016
Nicky Stevens (file)
Nicky Stevens (file)

After 15 months of waiting, a Waikato family are angry no one will be held accountable for their son's death.

Nicky Stevens was a patient in the Waikato District Health Board's mental health facility the Henry Bennett Centre, where he was allowed unsupervised leave.

His body was found in the Waikato River three days after he went missing in March of last year.

"We warned the doctors, we warned the managers… we even warned the DHB board itself that our son was at risk. They didn't listen," says Mr Stevens' father Dave MacPherson.

On Monday, police said the DHB would not be charged. Mr MacPherson said he wasn't surprised, except with how slow the process has been - and he's angry.

"We are going to be pushing really hard for the DHB to actually start its own review. That's in some ways the thing we're most appalled about - the actual hospital where it happened hasn't even had a review of that yet."

Mr MacPherson says other families have come forward following his son's death sharing similar stories.

"I distinctly recall the clinical director of that part of the hospital saying to us, 'Trust us - our staff know what they're doing.' They couldn't have been proven more wrong."

If you wish to talk to someone about mental illness or domestic violence, you can call Lifeline on 0800 543 354.