Home' Southern Health News : Southern Health News February 2014 Contents 4 / FEBRUARY 2014 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
health team makes
A new mobile mental health
team has been established in
the Southern Adelaide Local
Health Network to provide
care to consumers who are in
crisis overnight and to reduce
presentations to the Noarlunga
Hospital and Flinders Medical
Centre (FMC) Emergency
The highly experienced '24 Acute' mental
health team will provide an emergency
response service between the hours
of 10pm to 8am, seven days a week,
complementing existing mental health
services to provide around-the-clock care
in the southern suburbs.
The 24-Acute service will also provide
support to existing mental health teams
at FMC and Noarlunga Hospital when
there are large numbers of mental health
consumers presenting to emergency
Southern Mental Health Outer South
Sector Manager, John Strachan, said
the benefits of a mobile service included
being able to assess people in a variety of
settings, such as people's homes.
"Urgent mental health assessment,
management and referral to other services
will be provided by the team who will
also be available to see people in police
holding cells at Sturt and Christie's Beach,
reducing the need to take them to
emergency departments," he said.
"Short term community support can
be arranged for consumers including
psychosocial rehabilitation and drug and
Referrals to the service will come from the
Mental Health Triage (phone 131 465) for
consumers over the age of 18.
The 24-Acute service has also been
introduced in the Central and Northern
Local Health Networks following funding
from the Commonwealth Government.
The southern team will be based at Trevor
Parry Centre in Noarlunga.
A revised model of care commenced on
5 February 2014 with senior doctors assessing
patients earlier in their journey and making
decisions more quickly about their care.
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Director
of Emergency Services, Associate Professor Alan
O'Connor, said the trial had been established to
enhance patient flow, provide timely access to
inpatient areas for patients and reduce waiting
times in the ED.
Historically, each patient is 'worked up' by a
junior doctor and then a decision is made by a
senior doctor about the ongoing care required.
This process means that investigations and
further management tend to occur sequentially,
and it can lead to lengthy delays in the ED for
"The revised model of care will see senior doctors
reviewing all patients early on in their stay in
the ED, and again at two to three hours after
arriving at the ED, at that stage making a decision
about their ongoing care," Associate Professor
The revised model of care will also rely on
cooperation between the Emergency Department
Revised model of care in the
FMC Emergency Department
The availability of more senior doctors and earlier decision making in the Flinders
Medical Centre (FMC) Emergency Department (ED) could lead to shorter waiting
times for patients if a new trial is successful.
and inpatient teams, which will be required to
accept all patients referred to them by the ED.
If a patient needs to be admitted into hospital
from the ED, the inpatient team would historically
be consulted and may or may not accept the
patient into their inpatient specialty area, or refer
back to the ED, which then has to go through
the whole admission process again with another
team, further contributing to long stays in the ED.
The revised model is expected to improve FMC's
National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) -- which
is to have 82 per cent of patients spending less
than four hours in the ED by 2014 and 90 per
cent by 2015.
Associate Professor O'Connor said the success of
the trial would be measured by the percentage of
patients seen on time, the percentage of patients
who have received a decision to admit within
three hours, the overall NEAT target, and the
percentage of patients who have been discharged
and have a stay of less than four hours. The new
model is also expected to improve SA Ambulance
Service handover times.
Updates on the revised model of care in the
FMC ED will be provided in upcoming editions of
Southern Health News.
A revised model of care being
trialled in the Flinders Medical
Centre ED could reduce waiting
times for patients.
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