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Auckland Mental Health Services Review

King Announces Auckland Mental Health Services Review

Health Minister Annette King has asked the Mental Health Commission to undertake a review of the care provided to those with mental illness by District Health Boards in the Auckland metropolitan area.

And Ms King said today she had also asked the Ministry of Health to work with DHBs to find immediate solutions to the current pressure in Auckland in terms of acute care.

Ms King said the Mental Health Commission’s review would look at the continuum of care for those with mental illness - from primary and community interventions, through to in-patient services and provision of long term care in residential or community settings.

“It will focus on the development of medium and long-term actions to improve the quality of care for those with mental illness. The schedule is tight, but I am confident the commission can meet it. This is not a large-scale inquiry, but I need to know that people in Auckland are receiving high quality care.

“It was announced in the 2000 Budget that the Government is putting an extra $257.4 million over four years for implementation of the mental health blueprint. This Government is serious about providing the highest standard of mental health care, and the extra funding is a clear measure of our commitment.

“Problems in mental health are complex. Solutions are about more than funding beds for people. They are also about finding and recruiting the best people and services to deliver the right care at the right time. I want to be reassured Auckland is progressing as quickly as it can.”

Ms King said a small group of experts in health management and clinical practice would be appointed to undertake the review, which will be led by Mental Health Commission acting chair Bob Henare. The review will be supported by a reference group including senior Ministry representatives and the Mental Health Commissioners.

Ms King said the Mental Health Commission would provide her with a report on progress by 30 June, and a draft action plan by 30 August.

Terms of reference attached:

Terms of reference:

1. The Mental Health Commission will undertake an independent review of the continuum of care and services mix as funded by DHBs in the Auckland region (particularly Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs), which will inform the Minister of Health on the actions that the Ministry of Health and the DHBs in the Auckland region, whether collectively or independently, can take urgently to significantly improve mental health care, over the medium and long term, to achieve the standards set out in the National Mental Health Strategy, the Blueprint and the National Mental Health Sector Standards.

2. As well as other factors influencing the continuum of care and services mix in the Auckland region, the Review will consider:

- Governance and management (including financial management)

- Clinical practice

- Regional co-ordination of planning, funding and service delivery.

3. The Mental Health Commission will provide to the Minister

- A report on progress with the Review by 30th June 2002 (which may include recommendations for changes to District Annual Plans for 2002/03)

- A draft action plan by 30th August 2002

- A final action plan and Review report by 30th September 2002.

4. The Mental Health Commission work with the support of the Ministry and DHBs to achieve the outcomes required of the Review.


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