Joondalup Health Campus
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Joondalup Health Campus wins hospital-community mental health award

Mar 01, 2018

A highly successful partnership between Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) and several community drug and alcohol service providers was formally acknowledged by the Mental Health Commission in March 2018.

The Commission named the integrated partnership between the hospital, Joondalup Community Mental Health and the North Metro Community Alcohol and Drug Service (NMCADS) as the winner of the ‘partnerships’ category at an awards ceremony during the 2018 Western Australian Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Conference on 21 March.

The AOD Awards Ceremony recognised outstanding work in ten categories and JHC Mental Health Services Manager Linda Locke said she was very pleased and excited because the award acknowledges the partnership as an important part of how services are now delivered.

“Partnerships across services may provide better long-term outcomes for our patients,” she said. “For patients it means they are getting access, in a more timely way, to the help they need both during their stay in hospital and when they return home.”

She explained that North Metro Community Alcohol and Drug Service is a partnership between Cyrenian House (providers of counselling and support for individuals and their families) and Next Step (providers of medical and psychological services) which provides improved access to a comprehensive range of alcohol and other drug services from one location.

“By partnering, patients attending the hospital with drug or alcohol issues are being given intervention, at a time when they may be most receptive, for longer-term support,” she said. “The three-way partnership also includes Joondalup Community Mental Health, means better continuity of care for patients after they leave hospital.”

The Drug and Alcohol Clinical Liaison Inreach Service started at JHC at the end of 2015 and provides a Monday-Friday “inreach” service for patients throughout the hospital and Community Mental Health.

Last year the inreach team, which comprises a clinical nurse specialist and an addiction medicine consultant from Next Step, received close to a thousand referrals from within the hospital.

Next Step clinical nurse specialist Greg Gordon was appointed to the inaugural role and said that as well as directly helping patients, his role also included running formal and informal training for staff.

“A lot of staff shadow me clinically to help advance their skills, knowledge and understanding of the needs of patients with drug and alcohol issues,” he said.

“I’ve also facilitated more than 60 education and training events for health workers at JHC and this has increased the capacity of the hospital to respond to the needs of people who are living with drug and alcohol issues.”

“When a nurse, doctor – or anyone else caring for a patient – identifies that the patient may have a drug or alcohol issue, they now ask if they would like to have contact with the Drug and Alcohol inreach team, who can provide them with an assessment, advice on treatment and support options.”

Next Step Director of Clinical Services Richard O’Regan, said he hoped it would shore up the future continuation and expansion of the project.

“This award recognises a project that has never occurred in WA before in terms of the collaboration between these sorts of services,” he said.

“It means that for patients who present to hospital with a drug or alcohol issue, they are provided with an assessment and specialised intervention.

“It’s like opening a door for these people to get the longer term help they need.”

“It provides opportunities for them to access specialised ongoing care in their local area, with access to counselling and medical treatment.”

Hospital-community mental health award

Photo caption: Left to right (standing) - Clinical Nurse Specialist from NextStep / North Metropolitan Community Alcohol & Drug Service Greg Gordon; JHC Mental Health Service Manager Linda Locke; JHC Deputy Director of Clinical Services (Medical Services) Brendon Burns; and Cyrenian House /North Metropolitan Community Alcohol & Drug Service Counselling Coordinator Eben De JagerLeft to right (seated) – Director of Clinical Services Richard O’Regan (formally the in reach consultant); Manager of Integrated Services – Next Step – Mental Health Commission – Sue Helfgott; and Program Manager Community Mental Health Services (Joondalup and Clarkson) Mark Anderson.