Investigation launched after two deaths in one week at Auckland mental health facility

He Puna Wairoa
The He Puna Wairoa facility in Takapuna. Photo credit: Google Maps

An independent review has been launched after the deaths of two patients at an Auckland mental health unit.

Waitemata District Health Board (DHB) have been quick to question how the two deaths, which came in the same week at He Puna Waiora in Takapuna, could have occurred under their care.

"We believe tragic events like this should never happen in an inpatient unit and we have quickly moved to commission this external review," acting director of the DHB's Mental Health Services, Dr Kevin Cleary said in a statement.

Dr Cleary also expressed his sympathy for the family members of those involved.

"These families have entrusted their loved ones to our care and it is important that they have answers about any factors contributing to their deaths," he added.

The review will conduct a thorough examination of the functions and processes of the He Puna Waiora facility.

"Maintaining a high level of public confidence in our care and in our facilities is crucial. We believe this review will identify any factors so we can minimise risks for patients in the future," Dr Cleary said.

This isn't the first time this facility has been connected to the deaths of patients.

In 2017, the body of 26-year-old Stephen Kapeli was found on Takapuna beach after he had been granted unescorted leave from He Puna Wairoa.

An independent review of the facility was also carried out after that incident.