Authors: Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital
Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: QLD
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Specialist Service or Part of a Larger Service
Abstract: The first Australian Psychiatric Emergency Centre (PEC) co-located with an emergency department began at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) in 1983. A PEC has significant benefits for consumers by means of direct access to specialized mental health staff, a better quality of service and reduced waiting times. The major benefit for the Emergency Department is that Mental Health takes early responsibility for mental health consumers, which reduces access block in the Emergency Department. The need for adequate numbers of inpatient psychiatric beds and an active bed management strategy are also essential to prevent access block in the PEC. PEC’s are expensive to run and can be justified only in large emergency departments. However, the key ingredient is a positive partnership with the emergency department, which, if achieved, provides a high standard of acute mental health care. Description of Facility/Organisation: RBWH Mental Health is one of the 6 service lines within the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital. The Service is headed by an Executive Director, Nursing Director and Business Manager who oversee 7 service areas which have a budget of $35 million annually, with 350 staff and 132 beds. The major service areas are our catchment area service, the Inner North Brisbane Mental Health Service (INBMHS), Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, Statewide Eating Disorder Services, Geriatric Psychiatry, Adolescent Psychiatry, Community Forensic Mental Health Services and Alcohol & Drugs Service. The Inner North Brisbane Mental Health Service has a catchment population of 260,000 and consists of an Acute Care Team, 2 Continuing Care Teams, a Homeless Team and Community Care Unit. The INBMHS assesses 11,200 people per year and is currently managing 1,066 regular consumers. These include: the neighbouring catchment area mental health service not having an Emergency Department (which increases our catchment population to over 500,000); a large homeless population; high levels of illicit and other substance use (especially amphetamines); the busiest court/watchhouse complex in this state (over 30,000 cases per year); 2260 private hostel/boarding house beds; 3 large homeless shelters (239 beds) and two private psychiatric hospitals (over 140 beds) who refer behaviourally disordered patients.