Mental health recovery is seriously inhibited by poor policies and systemic failures according to the ACT Auditor-General’s report Mental Health Services Transition from Acute Care, Shadow Minister for Health Vicki Dunne said today.

“The overall conclusion of the Auditor-General is that ACT Mental Health lacks an ‘…integrated, comprehensive and contemporary framework…’ for managing the transition from acute to community based services,” Mrs Dunne said.

“The report highlights deficiencies in policy, recovery planning and information management. The A-G makes seven recommendations for improving the transition from acute care. These include:

 Developing integrated policies and ensuring that they align with all service providers;

 Recording communication with affected parties;

 Clearly assigning responsibility for an individual’s recovery plan;

 New policies on electronic records;

 Fixing manual reporting procedures;

 Enforcing existing policies in relation to the suicide vulnerability assessment tool; and

 Reviewing and rationalising performance reporting.

 “The Auditor-General again highlights poor records management and data issues that severely impact on clients of our mental health services.

“Clients of ACT Mental Health are among the most vulnerable in our community. They and their families deserve better. The ACT taxpayer expects better,” Mrs Dunne concluded.