Tasmanian Government vows to improve mental health care for older people

    Mental health care in the region found to be “well below an acceptable level”

      • Sector News
    • 23.09.21

    The Tasmanian Government has announced plans to improve the delivery of care to older people with mental health conditions after an investigation found that Tasmania's top mental health facility was delivering care "well below an acceptable level".

    In July, an investigation into Roy Fagan Centre’s mental health services found that poor levels of care had occurred due to a "culmination of numerous factors", including staff unavailability, insufficient resourcing, and inadequate education and training of staff.

    To overcome these issues the government has allocated an initial $1 million to develop a model of care for older persons mental health that meets the future needs of the Tasmanian community, in addition to the $108 million in new funding for mental health and wellbeing in the Tasmanian budget. 

    Key areas that have been identified for improvement include communication, patient flow, resourcing, and clinical governance processes.

    ABC News: Review into Roy Fagan Centre, where dementia patient was found with maggot-infested wounds, highlights staff shortages

    Tasmanian Government: Improving mental health care for older Tasmanians

    Maybo perspective

    Staffing is a massive issue across the health and care sector. Training will not fix fundamental problems such as staff shortages and environmental triggers but done well; it will help build staff skills and confidence whilst improving participants' quality of life.

    Too often, generic behaviour management training is provided to settings supporting people living with dementia, with health and care professionals receiving little or no training on how to best communicate with such patients. Our training courses aim to provide staff with positive communication techniques that can lead to better concordance from dementia patients. We have also developed programmes especially for these services that focus on reducing distressed and risky behaviours through better understanding patient needs and adopting safe and respectful working practices. This reduces the need for restraint and builds staff confidence in alternative approaches. To access our eLearning click here.

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