Monday 15, May
DHB focused on improving mental health outcomes
Board members today heard how the West Coast DHB intends to improve mental health outcomes for Coasters.
Clinical Director Mental Health Services Cameron Lacey and Interim General Manager Grey / Westland Philip Wheble
presented the board with a plan of how they intend to make the changes.
“We need to ensure we are looking at the whole system, using measurable outcomes for the service that can clearly
identify what is working or not and adjust accordingly. And we need to engage with clients, families, staff, and non-DHB
services to ensure that together we get it right,” Dr Lacey said.
One key focus is improving current services – providing a consistent high quality service; reducing the administrative
burden on clinical staff and the team overall; and improving data quality to support service improvements and measure
performance against outcomes. This has already started with the implementation of the Mental Health IT Solution going
live and the appointment of a new Operations Manager for Mental Health.
The other key focus looks at transforming the service to better respond to the community needs and rural environment of
the Coast. The first areas to get underway will be designing a detailed model of care to provide direction for all
service design; and describing a new way of delivering crisis response across the Coast.
“There is no question that this will be challenging, ensuring we develop a service that meets the needs of our
communities across the Coast. What encourages me is the enthusiasm and commitment from our staff and all health service
providers to ensure this happens. With the engagement of staff, communities, health providers and other stakeholders I
feel we will be able to create a service that is second to none, simply because we must,” Dr Lacey says.
“This work is so important, and we need the community to be involved. We all have a role to play in keeping our loved
ones and friends safe and well. When the community is concerned about someone, they need to know what to do, who to
refer to, and they need to have confidence that their loved one or friend will be supported and cared for until they can
live well back in the community. For some people, this might be an ongoing process.
“The DHB is doing all it can to ensure that any door is the right door, and we want to make it easy for people to
receive the right care at the right time provided by the right person
“This could range from counselling in the community to a support group, or for those with a higher level of need, care
in our specialist mental health services.”
Dr Lacey says this plan draws on a review presented three years ago, which indicated services were not functioning well
and changes needed to be made.
“In the intervening years there has been a lot of planning and progress in some areas, and that work will be taken into
account as we set about this project with fresh eyes.”