Peel Health Campus’ ability to provide mental health services under the microscope

Mental health: Question marks over Peel Health Campus’ ability to provide mental health services have been raised after stats show it is the only hospital in WA transferring more patients elsewhere than admitting them.
Mental health: Question marks over Peel Health Campus’ ability to provide mental health services have been raised after stats show it is the only hospital in WA transferring more patients elsewhere than admitting them.

Question marks over Peel Health Campus’ ability to provide mental health services locally have been raised after statistics show it is the only hospital in WA transferring more patients elsewhere than admitting them.

The 2017-18 annual report of the chief psychiatrist of Western Australia was tabled in parliament on September 11 and showed 1,713 mental health presentations over 12 months at the Mandurah hospital.

This was the second-highest figure in regional WA, with only the South West Health Campus (2,601) having more.

A total of 123 people were admitted to PHC, or 7.2 per cent, while 135 (7.9 per cent) were transferred to other hospitals.

Peel was the only hospital in WA with a higher number of transfers than admissions.

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Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup said Mandurah was being ignored by the state government.

“It isn't good enough that patients needing mental health treatment get transferred to Rockingham,” he said.

“It was Premier Mark McGowan and this state government who made the decision to allocate money from the GST top-up to other hospitals – like the $189 million to Joondalup.

“It was this state government who didn't include mental health beds in the $5 million they gave Peel Health Campus for the re-design of the emergency department.

“Mandurah deserves better – we're simply continuing to get ignored.”

A South Metropolitan Health Service spokesperson said all hospitals have a percentage of patients that are transferred for admission to an available mental health bed.

“SMHS provides mental health services through inpatient beds and a comprehensive community program,” they said.

“Patients who present at PHC with mental health related conditions are treated in the Emergency Department and can be admitted as an inpatient or referred to community mental health services, depending on the most appropriate care required.

“If a patient requires an inpatient stay, the initial option is to access a mental health bed at Rockingham General Hospital. Other inpatient transfers can also be made to residential aged care facilities and psychiatric hospitals.

“The majority of patients seen in the PHC ED are cared for through SMHS community mental health services.

“SMHS and the Department of Health are currently undertaking a review of the health needs in the Mandurah area to inform a clinical plan for the short and longer term future, which includes a review of mental health facilities.”