Peel Health Hub celebrates front-end staff funding announcement

Christmas has come early for Peel Health Hub service providers, who have secured funding for front-end staff after a four-month-long fight.

The Mandurah Mail has reported on the issue after service providers said they were struggling with increased demand and worried young people would "fall through the cracks" if they did not employ more staff.

The Australian-first 'holistic' model, which opened in November 2018, was a solution to tackle the number of youth suicides in the region by coordinating client care across several organisations.

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But, the success of the Hub saw the number of patients skyrocket, with waiting lists for services increasing exponentially.

The Mail explored the issue by speaking with patients, service providers and politicians, highlighting the need for resources to be allocated by authorities.

On Tuesday, the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) confirmed two front-end staff would be funded, with the finer details being confirmed by early 2020.

It will hopefully stop those people getting down to the emergency department and presenting in a much greater crisis.

Eleanor Britton

GP Down South representative Eleanor Britton said the new employees, offering care coordination to patients, would be the "glue" that holds the model together.

"We're incredibly grateful for the work the Mandurah Mail has done behind the scenes and for our political representatives, led by Andrew (Hastie), and to WAPHA," she said.

"When we get even busier than we are, which we know we will, we will now have the capacity to keep doing what we said we would do."

Ms Britton said young patients would be assisted in seeking help.

It's so important those people don't slip through the cracks.

Eleanor Britton

"When someone walks in distressed, we can now ensure that they get therapeutic intervention at that time," she said.

"It's so important those people don't slip through the cracks. It will hopefully stop those people getting down to the emergency department and presenting in a much greater crisis."

Canning MP Andrew Hastie said the funding announcement would make a difference to the community.

"This is a result of community leadership, a local media campaign and elected representatives across the board doing their jobs," he said.

Mr Hastie said the front-end staff were the "key ingredient" of the Hub's model.

"They will make sure no one is missed," he said.

He hoped the coordinators would capture data and assist community leaders in understanding the challenges facing our community.

WAPHA general manager Mark Cockayne said they would work with the Hub to finalise the agreement.

"We are delighted to confirm funding has been approved for two care coordinator positions, that will ensure people visiting the Hub receive timely assessment, treatment and coordination of care," he said.

"This reinforces our aim of meeting community-based mental health needs for people in the Peel region."

He said WAPHA had been supportive of the Hub's "innovative service delivery model" including providing funding for organisations within the centre.

If your life is in danger, call 000. For crisis support or suicide prevention, call 13 11 14. To get in touch with the Peel Health Hub, call 9583 5435.