Mental Health: Hospital to Home2018-01-24T22:40:15+10:00

Mental health: Hospital to Home

What was the problem?

There was a need to address a gap in service provision for consumers following admission to acute mental health wards. It was acknowledged that some people remain in acute inpatient wards longer than clinically required because of a lack of home based recovery support services. Hence the Hospital to Home (H2H) program was devised as is an intensive, integrated support service for people discharging from the acute mental health wards of Metro North Mental Health. Providing these services within a flexible, responsive, consumer-centred model, facilitated people being discharged in a more timely fashion, as the necessary supports were in place.

How did you solve the problem or take advantage of an opportunity?

Richmond Fellowship Queensland committed funds for four full-time positions, consisting of a coordinator and support workers, to facilitate five day intake of new referrals from the inpatient wards. A steering committee was formed to oversee implementation and review of the program. The program staff attend the inpatient wards on a daily basis to meet with consumers and their treating teams, accept new referrals and provide information on available supports. A research variable was created to capture Consumer Integrated Mental Health Application data, and monthly activity reporting was completed by Richmond Fellowship Queensland.

Dedicated support workers link in with consumers prior to their discharge and then support their transition back to the community for up to six weeks. The program is open to any adult who is admitted to the inpatient mental health wards and lives within The Prince Charles Hospital catchment. The support workers operate five days per week, from 8:30am to 8:00pm.

Who was involved?

The Metro North Mental Health at The Prince Charles Hospital partnered with the Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ). H2H is a truly collaborative program, driven and supported by executive staff of both organisations and with input from clinical staff and support workers, consumers and carers. Clinical and non-clinical staff collaborate to make and accept referrals, arrange seven day follow up appointments post discharge, support individual consumer recovery goals and accurately capture data for the program.

What was the outcome?

The program commenced in May 2016 in response to growing demand for inpatient services and a lack of home based recovery support services for consumers post discharge. The program runs continuously with new referrals being accepted daily.

The H2H program has been very successful to date. As of August 2017, over 265 referrals have been made into the program, 227 consumers have successfully exited the program, over 140 referrals to other support services have been made and many good news stories like Mick’s have been reported.

How is your service evolving through engagement?

We have a sustainable program with increased capacity to work with external partners.

Mick’s story

Mick had first-hand experience of the H2H program and can’t recommend it strongly enough. He first heard about the H2H program from fellow consumers while he was an inpatient; they suggested that he could benefit from it so he agreed to participate.

Mick said he formed a quick bond with his Richmond Fellowship Queensland support worker Rob, who he describes as “awesome”. Mick and Rob met 7 times over the 6 week period post discharge. In that time, Mick was able to talk through “past demons” and his struggles with anxiety and depression with Rob. Mick feels much stronger now and confident in his ability to find other ways to cowpe rather than “getting angry or hurting myself”.

Mick said he would have loved for the program to last longer, but felt he still benefitted greatly from the experience, so much so that he is now looking to enrol in a Certificate 4 in Mental Health Peer Support. Mick said if he was ever in need again, he would “definitely” do the H2H program if offered and he recommends it for other people going through similar experiences.

“I am now able to talk through my past ‘demons’ without getting angry or hurting myself”. – Mick