Innovative mental health care delivery


Friday, 06 October, 2023


Innovative mental health care delivery

The new Deakin Private Hospital in Canberra, the first of three to be operated under the iMH joint venture between mental health provider Aurora Healthcare and Medibank, hopes to commence a new era in mental health treatment with an innovative model of care.

The hospital provides care for mental health patients in an integrated setting — leveraging both hospital and community services, aiming to reduce readmission and give patients more choice, value and control.

The $27 million hospital has 52 patient beds, including 12 for adolescents and young adults aged 16 years and over in a dedicated unit that includes a brightly painted basketball court, gymnasium and relaxation areas.

The new model will focus on continuity of care through diverse pathways that accommodate inpatient, day attendance, in-home and community-based treatment, providing critical services for the ACT community and surrounding regions including Goulburn and Yass.

“The iMH model aims to provide alternatives to overnight hospitalisation where clinically appropriate, by putting the doctor in the driver’s seat as they partner with their patients in determining when, where and how they receive care,” said iMH CEO Joanne Levin.

“Many patients who are admitted to a mental health hospital will require re-admission. This new model of care aims to provide additional longitudinal treatment and support to patients post hospital discharge.

“A patient journey, where clinically required, may commence with an overnight hospital admission for assessment and treatment.  The patient may then be referred to a case management treatment model where they are visited at home by a mental health clinician and also have follow-up appointments twice a day via telehealth.

“We recognise that recovery is a journey and people have different needs at different stages.

“The model of care at Deakin Private Hospital has been developed to deliver care attuned to the evolving needs of patients in a setting that best supports their recovery.

“By providing access to an alternative model of care, Deakin Private Hospital gives doctors and patients the power to choose the right treatment at the right time to meet patient treatment goals.”

Featuring landscaped grounds with passive and active recreational spaces, the new facility offers private beds with ensuites and group therapy rooms in a comfortable and inviting setting, alongside co-located private practice suites and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) clinics.

Levin said the iMH model would bring innovation to the sector, “It will also support the long-term sustainability of the system in the face of rising demand.

“We are extremely proud to be providing alternative models for care in mental health.” Constructed by Barwon Investment Partners, Deakin Private Hospital is the first facility under the Aurora Healthcare/Medibank joint venture.

Hirondelle Private Hospital in Chatswood, Sydney, will be converted to an iMH mental health facility in late 2024, with a third iMH hospital to be built in Alexandria and scheduled to open in 2025.

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