Nursing home “no returns” policy, when residents are discharged to the emergency department at 4 am: what does the law say?

Malcolm P Forbes and Angelo Ferraro
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50132
Published online: 6 May 2019

To the Editor: We note with interest the letter from Peisah and colleagues.1 A group of oft‐forgotten patients also affected by “no returns” policies is older people with mental illness. We have recent experience of a 72‐year‐old man with diagnoses of schizoaffective disorder and Alzheimer dementia who was admitted to an aged mental health inpatient unit with a relapse of his schizoaffective disorder. He was admitted from a nursing home where he had resided for 4 years, during which time his illness had been stable except for an admission some 12 months earlier.

  • Malcolm P Forbes1,2
  • Angelo Ferraro3

  • 1 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Aged Persons Mental Health Unit, NorthWestern Mental Health Service, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.