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Melbourne's supervised injecting room will be separated from a drug outreach service

Photo: Changes to Melbourne injecting centre
Melbourne's supervised injecting centre will be separated from a needle exchange and outreach service after two health workers were accused of drug trafficking.

The October allegations against the North Richmond Community Health workers sparked a review of the alcohol and drug programs.

Published this week, the independent report by Joanna Flynn made 12 recommendations, including relocating outreach services from community health centre until the injecting centre trial is completed.

"The rapid implementation of the (injecting centre) at NRCH put significant pressure on existing management structures," Dr Flynn's report reads.

"Whilst the investment in the establishment, operation and support of the (injecting centre) has been necessary, this has diverted the already limited management attention from existing programs."
Mental health Minister Martin Foley said all 12 recommendations will be implemented.

"What occurred at North Richmond Community Health was simply unacceptable - that's why this review was so important and we're satisfied these recommendations will ensure they continue to deliver high-quality services to the community, including the medically supervised injecting room," he said in a statement.

"The medically supervised injecting room trial is about keeping Victorians safe and saving lives - and that's exactly what the evidence shows it is doing."

After the allegations against staff were revealed, chief executive Demos Krouskos was stood down by the board and Damian Ferrie, most recently chief of Star Health, was appointed last month as Interim CEO.

An ongoing chief executive will be recruited in 2020.

The government says since the injecting centre opened about 18 months ago, staff have safely managed more than 2500 overdoses, some of which could have been fatal or resulted in serious injury in other circumstances.


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