report

Access to State-Managed Adult Mental Health Services

Recommendations

The MHC and the Department should:

  1. clarify their roles so that it is clear who is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient management of the mental health system.

MHC response:

Agreed. The Mental Health Commission (MHC) fully supports this recommendation. MHC and the Department of Health (DoH) have jointly developed and articulated roles and responsibilities, as set out in the Fact Sheet – Governance of Mental Health Services. In addition, the Head Agreement between the MHC and DoH sets out roles and responsibilities as defined in the Health Services Act 2016. The MHC will continue to work with DoH to review the current articulation and communication of roles to ensure effective and efficient management of the mental health system.

DoH response:

Supported. The Department of Health understands the significant complexity of the mental health system which has a number of service providers and key stakeholders, and agrees clarity of roles and responsibilities is required.

Implementation timeframe:

Ongoing.

  1. examine and analyse people’s pathways across all State mental health services to better understand the capacity, effectiveness and efficiency of care options currently provided. Subsequently, this information should inform any reconfiguration of services and be used to prioritise the initiatives in the Better Choices. Better Lives: Western Australian Mental Health and Drug Services Plan.

MHC response:

Agreed. The MHC fully supports this recommendation. As a result of a new Data Memorandum of Understanding the MHC entered into with the DoH earlier this year, the MHC now has the ability to analyse people’s pathways across specialised mental health wards, emergency departments and clinical community treatment services. Work has commenced on how this information will be used to support the planning, purchasing, monitoring and evaluation of these mental health services into the future.

DoH response:

Supported. The Department of Health agrees that there is a tremendous value in analysing patient pathways and is investing resources in a number of initiatives to establish enduring linked data repositories for system-wide activity (not limited to mental health). It is important to note, however, that the greatest benefits of patient pathways analysis will not be realised until the full patient journey (incorporating non-government organisations, private and primary health providers, and Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare Benefits Schedule data) is included.

Through an important body of work underway which aligns with Recommendation 2, the Department of Health is working to develop the dataset used by the OAG in this audit into an enduring linked data repository that will be utilised by Health Service Providers, the Mental Health Commission and the Department of Health as System Manager. The Department of Health has committed to undertake a monthly refresh of the data to ensure that the information available in this valuable asset is as contemporary as possible.

The Department of Health is committed to working with Health Service Providers and the Mental Health Commission to undertake further detailed analytics of the data to better support service redevelopment and measurement. This resource will assist in enhancing existing mental health service planning, but also form a significant foundation for major mental health reform projects such as the decommissioning of Graylands Hospital.

Implementation timeframe:

The enduring data repository is aimed to be established by December 2019 with further detailed analytics of the data to be undertaken by December 2020.

  1. Once the MHC and the Department have prioritised the initiatives in the Better Choices. Better Lives: Western Australian Mental Health and Drug Services Plan according to the needs of consumers; they should develop an implementation and funding plan to support it.

MHC response:

Noted. The MHC is developing a proposal that will identify priority areas required to further progress the implementation of the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025.

DoH response:

The Department of Health notes Recommendation 3 but can only partially accept it. The Department supports the prioritisation of initiatives within the Plan; however, the Plan has not been fully funded to enable full implementation.

The Department of Health will work with the Mental Health Commission, as the lead agency, and the Department of Treasury, to secure either full or phased funding for the implementation of the Plan.

Implementation timeframe:

Ongoing.

Page last updated: August 14, 2019

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