Three teens died after Barrett Adolescent Centre closure

AUTHORITIES did not investigate where patients at the Barrett Adolescent Centre could be transferred to when the Wacol-based centre was shut - despite the concerns of the West Moreton health board and Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, an inquiry has heard.

The inquiry into the controversial closure of the youth mental health facility in 2014 began on Monday and is expected to run for four weeks.

The Bligh-government marked the facility to be replaced by a newer centre to be built next to the Redlands Hospital. In 2013 the Newman government shut the centre but the Redlands centre was never built because of environmental issues.

Within eight months three former patients had died.

The BAC was the only long-term residential centre for youth with severe and complex mental health problems.

Paul Freeburn, counsel assisting the Commissioner Margaret Wilson, told the inquiry the commission had received about 108,000 files - including 288 on Friday alone.

Mr Freeburn told the inquiry West Moreton Health and Hospital Service chief Lesley Dwyer and then Health Minister Lawrence Springborg expressed concern about what would happen to patients after the BAC closed.

Mr Freeburn said despite these concerns there was no evidence anyone from Mr Springborg's office, WMHHS or Queensland Health followed up these concerns and ensured the patients could be cared for in alternative services.

"One might think in a situation such as this where the services (are) being discontinued, that there was some need for analysis," he said.

The inquiry heard the BAC had passionate supporters but also critics because of its clinical and geographical isolation.

Mr Springborg is scheduled to testify before the inquiry on Friday, February 26. The inquiry continues.

If you or someone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit


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