Authors: Counties Manukau District Health Board (formerly called South Auckland Health)
Event: 2002 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Gold
Award category: Quality and Improvement Program
Abstract: The Research and Audit in Mental Health Services (REAMS) Team is a multi-disciplinary specialist team within Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB). REAMS began as a single research project investigating acute bed shortages in 1999. It is now an established research team supporting management and clinical staff decisions about service quality improvements by providing data and evidence from local, national and international sources. REAMS has completed ten studies in areas such as acute admissions, medication concordance, and links between deprivation and service utilisation. Critical to REAMS’ successes has been the participation of those often marginalised in research; service users and Maori and Pacific Island consultants have participated in all facets of the research from design through to implementation of changes. REAMS is on track to grow further, with grant proposals being developed for a randomised controlled trial of assertive community treatment, and participation in an epidemiological survey of Pacific Island mental health consumers and in a regional needs-assessment study of high users in 2003. REAMS represents a unique innovation in New Zealand, being the only team within a public health provider that solely researches mental health services. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Research and Audit in Mental Health Services (REAMS) Team is an integral part of Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) Mental Health Services (formerly known as South Auckland Health Mental Health Services and referred to hereafter as SAH). CMDHB provides care for a catchment area of 378,000 people. In 2001, 18% of the South Auckland catchment population self-identified as Maori, 17% as Pacific Islander, 8% as Asian, and 58% as Pakeha (European) and other ethnicities (Jackson, et al, 2001). Within New Zealand, South Auckland has one of the greatest concentrations of people living in areas of marked socio-economic deprivation (Crampton, et al, 2000). Mental health services are provided through two community mental health centres, an assertive community treatment team, a crisis team, specialist cultural and rehabilitation services, and a 45 bed in-patient unit at Middlemore Hospital. Counties Manukau mental health consumers also have access to services from non-governmental community organisations, supported accommodation, and community support services. REAMS is closely allied with both management and clinical staff of these services.