Question put forward to the Hon. G.E. GAGO regarding Mobile Assertive Care Employees.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK:
1. (a) What are the employment criteria for Mobile Assertive Care employees; and
(b) How many years of clinical experience does the average front line worker have?
2. What are the criteria for assessment by Acute Crisis Intervention Service (ACIS) while clients are in an acute hospital setting?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I have been advised:
1. (a) The essential minimum requirement for any employee of Mobile Assertive Care Teams is a degree or registration in a relevant health profession, such as mental health nursing and psychiatry. Allied health staff must also be eligible for membership of their relevant professional association.
Staff are usually employed at or beyond the second level of seniority (eg PO2), on the basis of the complexity of the work they are required to undertake.
(b) The clinical experience of mental health workers is highly variable within clinical teams, including inpatient and community services. This may range from months of experience such as a new graduate to decades for more senior clinical staff.
Consistent human resource practices are in place to ensure that all potential employees meet the clinical experience criteria required for each clinical position within mental health teams. Team structures are multidisciplinary in nature and people are recruited to ensure an appropriate mix of skills, experience and knowledge.
2. The Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service (ACIS) comprises community teams that provide assessment to consumers who are suffering a mental health crisis. A person may either contact the service themselves or be referred by a carer, their general practitioner or another community service. These assessments are conducted in homes or other places in the community.
When a person is in an acute inpatient unit, ACIS would not be involved in the assessment.
However, where an ACIS worker is rostered to an emergency department they will provide a comprehensive mental health assessment to people who present with a mental health problem.
Depending on the nature of the presenting problem and whether the person is a known client of mental health services, the emergency department doctor and psychiatry registrar may also be involved.