Chief Psychiatrist’s Mental Health Community of Practice – Inpatient Care in COVID-19

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist is starting new online forums to support best practice and problem-solving between mental health services in a rising COVID-19 environment.

The sessions are open to all staff from clinical mental health services and will provide an opportunity to collaborate, learn and support each other through challenges working in COVID-19 community transmission. A similar model has been successful in New South Wales.

The purpose of the sessions is to share learning, ideas and practice-based evidence in adapting to changing demands in a rising COVID-19 environment. Responding through collaboration and sharing-up-to date state, national and local guidelines and strategies will support sustaining high quality mental health care through community transmission.

The first session will be next week:

Inpatient Care in COVID-19
Mimidi Park will be sharing their experience so far
Wednesday 23 March 11:00 – 11:30

The format will be an informal 30 minute online sharing and discussion session.  A summary will be made available on the Chief Psychiatrist’s website (Community of Practice) following the session.

The session will be held on MS Teams. If you would like to attend, please email clinicalreviews@ocp.wa.gov.au, and a link to attend will be forwarded to you.

COVID-19 FAQs for mental health services

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist has developed a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document to assist mental health services to appropriately discharge their duty of care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. These FAQs are intended to assist with clinical translation of the various COVID-19 related statutory requirements and local policies relevant to mental health care.

OCP COVID-19 FAQs for mental health services
(Version 2, published 14/03/22)

Also please note that the Mental Health Infection Control Guidelines have been updated to version 4 (effective 04/03/22) and are now available.

The FAQs, Mental Health Infection Control Guidelines and other directives, guides and information are available online at the Chief Psychiatrist’s COVID-19 Information Hub.

Chief Psychiatrist’s Good Practice Guide: Providing mental health care when there is community transmission of COVID-19

The Chief Psychiatrist has published this guide in March 2022 to support clinicians to continue providing high standards of care during COVID-19 community transmission.

Its aim is to support consumers and carers to stay safe, plan for isolation, get tested and to plan for and communicate their mental health and support needs to treating teams.

This  guide is not mandatory under the Mental Health Act 2014 and is not part of the Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines.  It is intended to complement existing policy, and to assist clinicians and consumers in care planning and to access state and national information about how to manage in COVID-19.

Communication between carers, consumers and mental health teams is key to supporting high standards of timely, person-centred medical and mental health care.  This may be a stressful time for consumers, their families and supports, and increased mental health support and assistance with navigating the COVID-19 testing and treatment may be required.

This initial Guide has been updated following feedback from staff, and the most recent version can be found here:

Chief Psychiatrist’s Good Practice Guide: Providing mental health care when there is community transmission of COVID-19 

Feedback from staff is welcomed to: reception@ocp.wa.gov.au and will be used to further adapt the Guide.