CDHB Response to NUPE Release
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is concerned that an inaccurate media release from the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) will distress Canterbury’s mental health consumers and their families.
“CDHB will continue to fund Work Assessment and Rehabilitation for mental health consumers and there will be no reduction in the level of service,” Carolyn Gullery, CDHB’s General Manager Planning and Funding said.
CDHB has been working for several months with consumers and staff on changes to the Work Assessment and Rehabilitation Service for mental health consumers. Formal consultation began in early November.
The purpose of the changes is to focus Specialist Mental Health Services (SMHS) on providing acute care in hospital and specialist support to community based services.
Existing elements of the Work Assessment and Rehabilitation Service will continue to be funded by CDHB but provided in different ways with some services available through SMHS and others through community providers, who are yet to be identified through a Request For Proposals (RFP) process.
Since the establishment of this service by CDHB, a number of community providers have developed similar services and it is believed that with the additional support that the CDHB will be able to provide they will be more than capable of meeting the needs of consumers requiring a higher level of clinical input.
“Canterbury is fortunate to have a number of committed, capable and innovative NGO providers working in the mental health sector,” Ms Gullery said.
Staff working in the service are either being retained within SMHS in similar roles to support assessment and rehabilitation or are being offered opportunities for re-deployment elsewhere in the CDHB.
In response to issues raised by consumers and their families during the consultation process, CDHB has committed to ongoing communication and including the things that people value the most about the current service into the requirements for a new service. It will also extend its timelines, as required, to ensure that the transition for consumers and staff is as smooth as possible.