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Qld bureaucrats face Barrett Centre action

AAP logoAAP 8/09/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Two Queensland public servants face disciplinary action over the controversial closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre in 2014.

The Brisbane centre was the only facility to provide long-term in-patient treatment for young people with complex mental illnesses.

Three young people took their lives within eight months of the decision, prompting a commission of inquiry.

The Public Service Commission confirmed an independent review of the commission's report recommended disciplinary action against two Queensland government employees.

"Queensland Health has considered the recommendations and as a result has commenced disciplinary proceedings," Acting Commission Chief Executive Peter McKay said in a statement.

"The families of those affected by the Barrett Adolescent Centre closure have been advised of the outcome."

The bureaucrats face action under the Public Service Act 2008, however it will remain confidential in accordance with the commission's guidelines.

"Maintaining confidentiality throughout the disciplinary process is essential in order to protect the rights of employees and ensure that processes do not become contaminated," Mr McKay said.

In her report on the matter released in July Commission Margaret Wilson QC noted warnings from experts about the "significant risk" to patients if the facility closed were not heeded.

The commission also criticised flawed decision-making processes.

Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller also referred former Newman government health minister Lawrence Springborg to police over allegations he lied to a 2013 budget estimates hearing when asked if the centre was closing.

Mr Springborg would only say a review was under way.

The commission of inquiry found the decision to close the centre was made by Mr Springborg and a West Moreton health board head nine days before that estimates hearing.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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