Mental healthcare a top priority for western Sydney

Executive director of mental health, Beth Kotze, and the chief executive of the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Danny O’Connor.

We are keenly aware of the difficult job faced by staff working in the area of mental health and the need to provide the best treatment, care and outcomes for patients.

The WSLHD supports people with a range of mental illnesses and disorders and has a team of dedicated staff working to provide the best support they can, from early detection strategies to prevention protocols.

The district’s mental health facility at Cumberland Hospital has recently been at the forefront of media criticism.

It is important to remember that Cumberland Hospital provides quality primary and secondary services, as well as tertiary acute, extended and community-based treatment for patients.

Since 2014, the clinical governance structure and processes for the mental health service has been completely redesigned after Associate Professor John Allan conducted a review.

His report generated 39 recommendations and all of them have been accepted and actioned.

Some improvements include a dedicated model of care being developed and implemented for Yaralla.

Clinical staff have worked with consumers to reduce the rate of seclusion and restraint in the mental health service and WSLHD is the state’s most improved service in this undertaking.

The demand for our help is great and the challenges presented by those seeking our help presents a diverse and challenging number of scenarios on a daily basis.

Our hospital staff and mental health teams have some of the most demanding roles to be found in the provision of public health services and provide a high level of patient care.

The level of care they provide to our clients is exceptional and appreciated by family, friends and carers.

The WSLHD recognises that, as with all aspects of public health care, services and how they are provided require constant review and reassessment to ensure the best practice and outcomes for our patients.

We acknowledge that any incident resulting in harm to a patient is unacceptable and all such incidents must be reviewed to learn what we can to prevent a similar incident recurring.

Incident trends and outcomes of investigations are provided to clinical and management teams, who play a part in changing practice to improve care.

We continue to work closely with NSW Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), which is responsible for taking a wider look at trends in patient safety.

The WSLHD is committed to saving lives and helping those who are the most vulnerable in our community.

To our staff and community, thanks for your hard work.

Please continue to contact us if you have any concerns about our service or suggestions for improvement.