Mental Health Audit

A question for the Minister for Health and Substance Abuse - audit of SA Health Facilities.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —to the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse regarding an audit of SA Health facilities.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 9 May 2017, the then minister for mental health and substance abuse informed the parliament that, as part of the government's response to the Oakden crisis, 'an external clinical audit of other mental health and ageing facilities…would be conducted across SA Health', the purpose of the audit being to identify potential risks to vulnerable residents in state-run aged-care and mental health facilities.

The same day the minister announced the audit, the CEO of SA Health, Ms Vickie Kaminski, indicated that SA Health would investigate 46 aged-care sites and 19 mental health inpatient services and that once the audit had been completed, its findings would be released. My questions for the minister are:

1. Has the external audit of all 46 aged-care sites and 19 mental health inpatient services been completed?

2. Did the audit identify any potential risks to vulnerable residents in any state-run aged-care facilities and, if so, what actions have been taken in response to those potential risks?

3. Did the audit produce one report for all 68 facilities and services or two separate reports —one for aged care and another for mental health services?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): Again, I thank the honourable member for her important question. Earlier this year, the Chief Executive of SA Health did commission an independent audit of South Australian inpatient mental health services, as alluded to by the Hon. Ms Lensink. The review was held by Mr Kevin Fjeldsoe, a consultant to the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research at the University of Queensland, with three other interstate experts.

This is part of the substantial process to ensure that the recommendations from external reviews are on track to be implemented. Senior mental health clinicians in South Australia are working together to ensure that these service improvements do take place, and the aim of the audit, of course, was to consider the actions taken in response to three external reviews of mental health services and recommendations from accreditation surveys conducted since January 2013.

The audit team consisted of interstate experts, including senior psychiatrists and mental health nurses, and a commitment to the House of Assembly was given by the former minister for mental health and substance abuse for the findings of the audit to be released publicly. The audit team noted that there was clear evidence that services within SA Health adhered to the standard accreditation processes and that a considerable amount of work has been undertaken and is being undertaken in response to the recommendations of the reviews. The audit team has made recommendations on planning, governance, mainstreaming and patient flow, and community and consumer care and input into governance.

SA Health intends to establish a statewide clinical leadership group called the Mental Health Leadership Group (funny about that) to take responsibility for the development and delivery of mental health service indicators and strategy across South Australia. The leadership group will be responsible for the development of new models of care that reflect the best practice and seek to engage clinical staff, clients and carers across the services to ensure the delivery of services in South Australia.