Home' Southern Health News : August 2014 Contents 10 / AUGUST 2014 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
Ground-breaking aged care rehabilitation
centre an Australian first
A new $46 million health and ageing teaching and research facility at the
Repatriation General Hospital in Daw Park, South Australia, will promote
restoration and rehabilitation, changing the way aged care services are
delivered in Australia.
The 120-place centre, named ViTA (meaning
‘life’), will co-locate aged care, health and
education in a partnership between leading
aged care provider ACH Group, SA Health and
Comprising long-term places, short term,
transitional care and rehabilitation places, the
centre demonstrates real innovation in a sector
that is undergoing significant change.
ViTA will deliver re-enablement services, both
empowering people to return to their own
homes after short-term stays or to live more
independently in long term care.
ACH Group Chief Executive Dr Mike Rungie
said ViTA’s unique combination of partners,
health co-location, innovative services,
education, research and targeted outcomes
made it a national and possibly world first in
“ViTA won’t just deliver services to restore good
health, it will take the next step in working with
older people to achieve greater community
contribution and productivity,” he said.
“ViTA questions the way we currently think
about aged care, opening new avenues for
people to live productive lives in their own
homes and communities well into old age.”
ViTA will train hundreds of undergraduate
students each year, creating a new breed of
aged care workers and a learning community of
universities, industry, employees, older people
and their families.
“ViTA is already attracting interest from aged
care providers across the globe, policy makers
and educators nationally,” Dr Rungie said.
South Australian Health Minister Jack Snelling
said ViTA would address the growing demand
on rehabilitation and aged care services caused
by the State’s ageing population.
“South Australia has one of the highest
proportions of people aged over 65 in the
country, with one in six people aged over 65,”
Minister Snelling said.
“ViTA will support patients to return to their
homes and communities as soon as possible,
by providing rehabilitation and aged care in a
home-like environment so people can continue
being productive in their own lives and
maintain a high level of independence.
“This will also reduce the likelihood of
readmission to hospital and premature
admission to residential care.”
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor
Michael Barber, commented on the exciting
opportunities ViTA provides in preparing
outstanding health graduates who are
equipped to transform the future health care
“This innovative new model encompassing
aged care, health and education will enhance
teaching, learning, student clinical placement
experiences and add value to student, staff and
patient experiences,”he said.
“Flinders University will operate a Clinical
Teaching and Education Centre which will
facilitate professional practice for medical,
nursing and health students in the care of older
people, and opportunities for authentic inter-
If you would like to find out more about
ViTA, visit www.ach.org.au/vita
mental health centre
A new $2.5 million community
mental health centre, providing an
integrated mental health service for
the southern suburbs, is scheduled to
be completed by mid-2015.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Leesa
Vlahos said development of the new centre
would begin in December 2014 and would
bring together mental health workers from
across several sites into a single location.
“Community mental health teams in the
southern suburbs currently provide care to
more than 1300 people each month,” Mrs
“This development will bring together
approximately 68 staff, including psychiatrists,
nurses, social workers, psychologists and
occupational therapists, into a purpose-
designed community mental health centre.
“The service will provide assessment and
review for mental health consumers, as well as
administration and monitoring of medication
and other mental health interventions.
“This model is already working successfully in
the north, west and east of the city, providing
dedicated community mental health care for
local residents, seven days a week.
“This new approach to mental health services
in the south will enhance service delivery and
promote positive outcomes for consumers.”
The new community mental health centre
will be developed in two stages and will
complement existing mental health facilities at
Noarlunga such as the Trevor Parry Centre and
the Southern Intermediate Care Centre.
Stage one will involve purpose-designed
modifications to Noarlunga GP Plus Super
Clinic so that clinical services can be provided
to mental health consumers from the Super
The second stage will be a refurbishment of
existing facilities within the Noarlunga Health
Precinct, adjacent to GP Plus Super Clinic
Noarlunga, to provide a hub for mental health
As part of her Parliamentary Secretary duties,
Mrs Vlahos has been given a key responsibility
in the mental health and substance abuse
Mrs Vlahos will take a lead role in these
portfolios, including the implementation of the
Government’s important mental health election
The new $46 million ViTA building
at Repatriation General Hospital will
revolutionise the way aged care
services are delivered in Australia.
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