8 January 2009

Step Up/Step Down, comes to Canberra - in a small way

| johnboy
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Katy Gallagher has announced the opening of a new mental health facility based on the “Step Up/Step Down” model of care.

    “Step Up /Step Down provides an early intervention or early discharge option for people as an alternative to hospitalisation or after discharge from hospital. The residential facility will provide mental health care to accommodate those experiencing acute mental health symptoms and those who may not be ready to return to their homes.”

It sounds great, but will a five bed facility be enough?

The Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson doesn’t think so:

    “Having had numerous discussions with community groups, health professionals, mental health sufferers, I am confident that the model of care offered by Step-Up/Step-Down residential facilities is one of the best methods of treating mental health patients,” Jeremy said.

    “Step-Up/Step-Down gives patients the opportunity to receive the level of care they need but outside the often imposing environment of a psychiatric clinic or hospital ward, and it also frees up much needed hospital beds,” Jeremy Hanson said.

    “It’s disappointing that the Government has chosen to invest only a small amount into such a critical community service. 5 beds are manifestly inadequate,” said Jeremy.

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“Manifestly inadequate” – I’d heard that term recently…


johnboy said :

It’s not really an either/or thing.

All government expenditure is an either/or thing.
Either we spend $x on this, or that. The $x is limited, so choices have to be made. There is no doubt that a lower level facility that you don’t need private health cover to access is needed, but so are so many other things…

How about Katy provide a public mental health facility that will actually accept patients?

Wanna hazard a small wager on that, szeretetta?

poptop – for the Mental Health Tribunal to be able to require someone to be there, the beds would need to be gazetted under the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act. As it is supposed to be an alternative to hospital treatment, I really can’t see that happening.

What I can see happening is there being a very low turnover of patients through the facility – there are a number of patients who really need a lower level facility full time…

Mr Cahill will want his Mental Health Tribunal to allocate all those places personally.

It’s not really an either/or thing.

And centralised treatment of everything at one enourmous hospital is a crappy approach.

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