With a key role in helping people with chronic diseases, Monash Health’s Cranbourne Integrated Care Centre provides a wide range of acute medical and same‑day surgical services, primary health care, mental health and rehabilitation, as well as family violence and housing services.
Cranbourne Integrated Care Centre also has a range of community health services where there are programs such as child, youth and family programs, and an Aboriginal health program that works with an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Mr Andrew Stripp, CEO of Monash Health, is a strong advocate for the integration of primary mental health and specialised services to improve outcomes for patients.
There are far too many experiences of unnecessary struggles due to lack of integration. This can be a lack of both vertical integration with services from primary care through to highly specialised tertiary services, and horizontal integration of different service types such as mental health and dental.
Mr Stripp said the broad range of functions provided in one centre enables internal referrals to other services, including mental health.
A large proportion of consumers have mental health needs and Cranbourne Integrated Care Centre’s integrated model has a range of benefits for those people. This includes the experience of coming to a health service that doesn’t say ‘mental health’ in its title, where people can access treatment and support for a wide variety of health needs including mental health treatment.
Specifically, the mental health program supports consumers accessing the specialist mental health continuing care and mobile support teams, as well as those accessing shared care with a GP. The GP liaison coordinator can provide additional advice to GPs who are treating someone for a mental illness, if needed.
The mental health team comprises consultant psychiatrists, registrars, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians, a clozapine nurse and nurse practitioners.
For services not provided at the Centre, the team has established connections to community programs that are helpful for mental health consumers, as well as collaborations with not‑for‑profit community organisations that provide a range of medical, health and support services at subsidised cost, to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Melbourne’s east and south east suburbs.
Due to a large growth in population in the area and the feedback on the very positive experience, Monash Health will replicate the Cranbourne model in a new community hospital in Pakenham.
Source: Monash Health meeting with Commissioner Armytage, 1 April 2020.
Photo credit: Monash Health