Actively supporting mental health patients upon discharge a priority

Two female mental health nurses in conversation with another woman
May 7, 2019

Providing support to patients when they are discharged from a South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) hospital is a priority for all service areas, in particular mental health.

SMHS has a strong program in place for mental health patients to truly feel and be supported as they adjust to living in the community to help them achieve the best possible recovery outcomes.

Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group Mental Health Service Director Lynn Warren said research showed how crucial it was to support mental health patients to minimise adverse effects and reduce readmission rates.

“Literature has demonstrated that clients discharged from an acute mental health facility are at an increased risk of deterioration, early readmission and even suicide in the days following discharge,” Lynn said.

“To reduce the risk of early readmission, formal discharge plans which include follow-up with community services and supports, are developed with SMHS clients and their family and carers. 

“Community follow-up is monitored to ensure that each client receives the essential services they need to maintain functional improvement and stability, reducing the risk of early readmission.”

The numbers show SMHS continues to achieve above the benchmark average rate of 75 per cent for community follow-up within seven days of discharge from an acute mental health facility, with a median rate of 80.5 per cent for 2016-17 and 78.2 per cent in 2017-18.

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