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VAGO report identifies shortfalls in Victoria’s mental health services

Posted 26 March 2019

The report Access to Mental Health Services identified several shortfalls in service provision including limited funding, insufficient staff numbers and poor bed availability.

The report highlighted a number of findings, including:

  • while 3 per cent  of Victorians have a severe mental illness, only 1.16 per cent of Victorians receive clinical mental healthcare
  • there was an 11.5 per cent  increase in mental health patients presenting to emergency departments from 2015-16 to 2017-18
  • Acute mental health hospital admissions have grown 2.4 per cent since last year
  • Length of stay) in hospital has reduced from 14.7 days in 2009 to 9.6 days for 2017-18, and
  • 14.4 per cent  of adult mental health patients are having an unplanned readmission within 28 days of discharge.

The report recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) undertake a state-wide mapping of mental health services incorporating funding models, price structures a detailed public state-wide investment plan. 

The Victorian government accepted the recommendations to undertake statewide mapping, develop a performance and accountability framework, undertake a price review of clinical mental health services, and re-establish the Mental Health Expert Taskforce. Further reforms looking to resolve known catchment boundaries issues and improving internal governance are contingent on the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Mental Health.

For more information, access the report and its recommendations  here.

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