Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program Communique Issue 6

Download a printable PDF version here: Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program Communique Issue 6

The Reform Program Team have reached a milestone in the development of a new System Model for delivering improved care and this communique is focused on sharing an overview of the model and a progress update from the Hospital Avoidance Program working group who are focused on the Acute Care Stream.

We are also delighted to introduce two new team members and to thank our working group members for their patience and ongoing support.

System Model for Improved Care

The Mental Health Reform Program is progressing the development of new and revised services to be implemented as part of reforms in public mental health services in Tasmania.

A fundamental part of the reforms will be the organisation of existing and new services into two care streams, an Acute Care Stream and a Continuing Care Stream.

The Acute Care Stream is designed to provide treatment to people experiencing moderate to severe mental health symptoms or suicidal distress.  The development of the Acute Care Stream will provide contemporary community-based alternatives to Emergency Department presentation and inpatient admissions.

The Acute Care Stream is designed for people who have not had any prior or recent contact with mental health services, or who are likely to need this intensity of service for short periods of time.

The Continuing Care Stream is designed to provide longer-term case management, community and extended care for people requiring assistance in developing functional skills.  People who are active in the continuing care stream will be able to access the entire range of acute care inpatient services if needed, however, their long-term care will be provided within the continuing care stream.

Hospital Avoidance Program update

The working group meetings resumed in early July with a Hospital Avoidance Program working group on the Acute Care Stream. The proposed model for the Acute Care Team was tabled for discussion.
The next working groups are focused on the Mental Health Integration Hubs, The Acute Treatment Unit, and The Continuing Care Team.

We will be engaging a broader discussion and seeking feedback for the new models that will form the basis of the new service.

An overarching service description has been developed that integrates all the new models and explains the various functions. This will be made available through the working groups.

The recent challenges of social isolation and new community issues around workforce, schooling and family have meant that not everyone on the working groups has been able to attend in person. However, many individuals are still participating in the process providing feedback to the reform team via email and phone calls.

All in person sessions are being held at the Hockey Centre in New Town to provide a large and comfortable venue.

Welcome to the team

We are pleased to introduce two new members of the Reform Program Team. For full profiles go to Team Profiles

Kristy Arrold

Kristy is an endorsed Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with nearly 20 years experience working in a variety of specialisations, across the public and non-government sectors.   Kristy has a special interest in human rights and working with people from diverse backgrounds and also enjoys Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and working with people who have experienced trauma.  Kristy is a proud and passionate nurse, dedicated to advancing mental health nursing practice and contributing to service development to achieve integrated, contemporary, person centred mental health care.

Geoff Hammond

Geoff is the newly appointed Manager for Mental Health Reporting and Reform for Statewide Mental Health Services. Geoff brings to the Reform Program a wealth of experience which includes the analysis and evaluation of healthcare programs. Prior to joining the THS, Geoff has worked in several senior roles intrinsic to the delivery of strategic projects in health care. He holds a dual Bachelor degree in biology and psychology from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and a PhD in psychiatric epidemiology and psychometrics from the University of Cambridge. Geoff is experienced in project management and a qualified PRINCE2 practitioner.

Do you have a question? We want to hear from you. Email the team at: mhreform@ths.tas.gov.au