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Holistic Health for Mental Health Clients

Sydney Local Health District
Project Added:
21 November 2014
Last updated:
21 November 2014

Summary

The co-located General Practice (GP) clinic has cared for over 100 consumers who had not seen a General Practitioner (GP) in the last 12-18 months.

In partnership with existing metal health services, the co-location model ensures community mental health services work collaboratively with the GP to improve the health status of community mental health clients, providing seamless and continuous care. This initiative increases community access to GPs, Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists and other Allied Mental Health Professionals for Mental Health Care. 

This innovative GP clinic delivers holistic care with a focus on consumers at risk of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes. 

This project was a finalist in the Integrated Health Care category of the 2014 NSW Health Awards. Download the poster from 2014 NSW Health Awards.

Aim 

The GP Clinic, co-located with the Mental Health community centre, aims to screen, assess and treat physical health problems of clients who do not otherwise have a GP.

Benefits

  • Increased community access to health services including mental healthcare
  • Improved patient outcomes and earlier detection of health issues
  • Improved care coordination timely and accessible services 

Project status

Sustained: The project has been implemented, is sustained in standard business. 

Background

Close working partnership between the GP and Marrickville Community Mental Health Service (MCMHS) has resulted in earlier detection and intervention of physical health problems, improved care co-ordination and increased access to a range of health services and preventative health interventions.

The functional, funding, legal and administrative model for this clinic required innovation, given the co-location of a private general practice on the grounds of a state funded health organisation.

Implementation 

The service model is a partnership with existing Mental Health Services and provides an integrated primary health care service designed to improve access, quality standards, and equitable service delivery to medical care for those mental health clients who don’t currently have a relationship with a General Practitioner. 

The co-location model ensures the community mental health services work collaboratively with the GP to improve the health status of community mental health clients, providing seamless and continuous care.

The model employs preventative health strategies including: treatment of physical health problems, preventative and early intervention activities, tailored medication use and reduction in misdiagnosis, or non-diagnosis. This integrated partnership provides mental health clients who do not have a GP with better and more appropriate diagnosis for physical health problems.

Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) provides the infrastructure at no cost, including use of a consultation room, medical equipment, nursing and administrative support. Inner West Sydney Medicare Local provides support for practice management and information systems. The introduction of a GP clinical nurse by SLHD enhanced the communication between the GP and mental health clinicians. This improved communication assists with more accurate diagnosis and timely interventions. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was developed outlining the responsibilities of the parties involved, and provided the framework for the initial trial of this service delivery model, including ongoing evaluation requirements.

Results 

Close working partnerships between the GP and MCMHS have resulted in earlier detection and intervention of physical health problems, improved care co-ordination and increased access to a range of health services and preventative health interventions. 

Attendance has increased since inception, to an 80% average and satisfaction levels remain high by clinicians and consumers.

A brief evaluation for 12 months of this program has demonstrated that the GP Co-location model at Marrickville is not site-specific, and can be easily replicated to other communities to achieve similar outcomes. 

This model has been replicated at Redfern Health Centre. A version of this model has also been implemented at Camperdown Common Ground, and is planned for implementation soon at Canterbury Community Health Centre.

Partnerships

  • GPs
  • Inner West Sydney Medicare Local
  • Community and mental health care 
  • Marrickville Community Mental Health Service

Contact 

Jason Cheng
A/General Manager of Croydon, Marrickville and Redfern Health Centre
Sydney Local Health District (SLHD)
Phone: 02 9378 1100
Email: Jason.cheng@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

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