Conference Paper

Increasing access to Acute Community Mental Health Care

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Abstract

In 2013 Central Coast Health District reconfigured acute mental health services to provide more opportunities for consumers to be seen before they reach the emergency department. The goal of this change was to provide as much care as possible within the community setting. The change involved promoting the use of the services Mental Health Line to consumers and other stakeholders. As part of this process, changes were made converting the Home Based Treatment Team to the Acute Care Team and the Emergency Assessment Team to the Emergency Department Mental Health Team. The Mental Health Line was able to identify those people who could be offered assessment quickly in the community without having to go to the Emergency Department. When deemed clinically appropriate consumers were offered an appointment with the Acute Care Team. The approach was developed, implemented and monitored closely. Eighteen months later the results are indicating an increase of 15% referrals to the Acute Care Team and a reduction in presentations to the Emergency Department. The goal of the program has been achieved and represents significant service and cultural change for staff. The presentation will review these results in the context of the patient, carer and clinician experience.

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