Authors: Jo Allen and Ann Benson, VIC
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Social Inclusion and Mental Health Promotion
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: In April 2004 the model of primary nursing was introduced to two 22 beds acute inpatient psychiatric wards at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Prior to this a manual was developed and all nursing staff were released for a two- day training workshop. All staff working on the units were given an overview of this model before implementation. Allied health and the registrars embraced the new model and the strong support for primary nursing from senior management and the clinical director was crucial for successful implementation. However there was initially a significant degree of negativity both from some nursing staff and from a number of consultant psychiatrists. Primary nursing had the potential to split nursing staff as many were enthusiastic about its introduction while others, those for whom any change is challenging, waited for the new idea to fizzle out and disappear. Some of the consultants initially refused to acknowledge the introduction while others embraced to idea wholeheartedly. This paper will discuss the issues that arose during implementation, the response to a variety of obstacles that emerged and the eventual improvement in the delivery of care to patients experiencing admission to our acute units.