Strengthening Mental Health Care

An independent review of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Service (IRS), located at Glenside Health Services, has recommended improvements to the unit.

The Central Adelaide Local Health Network’s (CALHN) Clinical Director of Mental Health, Dr Leslie Stephan, said the network commissioned the review after a number of concerns were raised.

“These concerns included the challenging diversity of patients within the unit, the therapeutic environment and a high rate of WorkCover claims,” Dr Stephan said.

“It was clear to us that action needed to be taken and we’re grateful to the independent review team for their thorough and constructive report.

“The reviewers found attitudes and practices amongst some staff which were not in line with contemporary thinking including, in some cases, the use of coercive behaviours.

“It cited some underlying reasons for their findings included a lack of training and mentoring for staff, a building design that doesn’t reflect the type of conditions being treated and staff feeling a sense of isolation.

“We have accepted all 30 recommendations in full and I would like to acknowledge the work that has already been undertaken in the unit.

“Our first step has been to develop a comprehensive action plan with the collaboration and oversight of the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (OCP) and to convene a Steering Governance Group that will oversee the work.”

“I want to thank the staff and patients who participated in the review for sharing their experiences openly and honestly.

“While this was not an easy report to read, we now have a clear picture of the challenges that need to be addressed in order to provide better services for our consumers and better support for our staff.”

The work will be done in collaboration with the Chief Psychiatrist, Dr John Brayley, who has applied a temporary condition on the unit in the government gazette.

This requires CALHN to action an approved intervention plan to improve the oversight and management of the unit and ensure the quality and safety of care for consumers.

The temporary conditions will be lifted once the OCP is satisfied improvements have been made.

The Chief Psychiatrist also gazetted temporary conditions on Woodleigh House, operated by the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, earlier this year.

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