Plan to improve quality of mental healthcare

The mental health plan will include mandatory public reporting of seclusion rates.

The western Sydney community is being encouraged to help be part of mental healthcare improvements to prevent seclusion and restraint of people with mental illness.

WSLHD executive director of mental health, Dr Beth Kotze said the call comes following the NSW Government’s release of 27 actions addressing the recommendations of the review of seclusion, restraint and observation from last December.

Dr Kotze said WSLHD will join every other health network in NSW in developing a localised culturally appropriate seclusion and restraint prevention action plan to implement the recommendations.

“WSLHD is committed to preventing the seclusion and restraint of local patients within our area,” Dr Kotze said.

“To achieve this, we are partnering with our local community, from consumers, carers, families, and staff to build and deliver an action plan that will deliver a safe and quality service.

“This is our chance to make sure we respond in ways that meet our local needs.”

To be involved in the design of your local seclusion and restraint prevention plan email: WSLHD-CommunityEngagementinMentalHealth@health.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard and Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies today outlined the 27 actions to address each of 19 recommendations of the Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities, accepted by the NSW Government.

The NSW Government has also committed an initial $20 million to improve the therapeutic environment inside acute mental health units across the state.

Ms Davies said new ambitious targets to reduce the use of seclusion will be included in annual performance agreements with local health districts.

Around-the-clock supervision and targets to reduce the use of seclusion will be introduced under a plan to significantly improve mental health care in NSW.

“The tragic death of Lismore woman Miriam Merten was the catalyst for change and now we have a significant plan that will greatly improve the safety of mental health patients,” Ms Davies said.

“We would like to thank consumers, their families, peak mental health organisations and NSW Health staff for their immense efforts over the past 12 months.”

To view Mental Health Safety and Quality in NSW: A plan to implement recommendations of the Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth.