Authors: Jacqueline Horn, Peter Abrams, Lynley Coburn, Robert Green, NEW ZEALAND
Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Service Development & Change
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Co-ordination among mental health services is critical to ensuring that consumers/patients get the best possible care to help them reduce their disability so they can get on with their lives (e.g. Allen and Jones, 2002). The aim of this presentation is to describe how the acute inpatient service and the community care teams of the Mental Health Service of the Canterbury District Health Board in Christchurch, New Zealand, were reconfigured from functioning separately to becoming more integrated with each other, and how this led to improvements in patient care. The paper describes the process of planning, consultation, implementation, assessment and development of this change that was first mooted in 1999, implemented in 2001, and continues to be reviewed to the present day. The results of surveys of staff and consumers, and of documentation audits, are presented. The effects of the changes are discussed, including their implications for compliance with the National Mental Health Sector Standard (NZS 8143:2001). This paper describes a way in which a large, complex service reconfigured itself, and continues to monitor its functioning, in order to provide a better match between level of care and consumers’ needs.