The Mental Health Act 2014 (s.515) prescribes the Chief Psychiatrist with the responsibility to monitor the treatment and care of mental health patients within Western Australia. With this legislative requirement the Chief Psychiatrist carries out monitoring of all mental health services within the State.
Clinical Standards and Service Reviews
Mental Health Services
The Chief Psychiatrist implemented a new clinical monitoring program in 2016, whereby all mental health services within Western Australia will be reviewed to assess clinical standards. The reviews are grouped by health service provider. All public mental health services were reviewed by the end of the 2017-2018 financial year, and a clinical review of private mental health services within Western Australia is planned for the 2019-2020 financial year.
Private Psychiatric Hostels
The Chief Psychiatrist is currently developing a clinical monitoring program for private psychiatric hostels. The program will monitor the standards of clinical care provided to mental health patients residing in a private psychiatric hostel.
The Chief Psychiatrist conducts targeted reviews to investigate concerns or allegations about the standards of psychiatric care provided to an individual patient or group of patients, or when there are concerns about the overall performance of a particular mental health service.
In addition, the Director General of Health (MHA 2014 s.518) may request the Chief Psychiatrist to examine matter(s) relating to the provision of the treatment and care of patients with a mental illness, if the matter(s) are within the remit of the CEO of the Health Department.
Thematic Reviews of Mental Health Service
The Chief Psychiatrist’s thematic reviews examine a particular clinical area or ‘theme’ across multiple mental health services in Western Australia working in the specific area. The Chief Psychiatrist has conducted a number of thematic reviews examining a range of topics, such as clinical governance, adherence with clinical policy and legislation, and the provision of physical health care to mental health patients. Thematic Reviews completed in the past five years include:
- Chief Psychiatrist’s Thematic Review of MHS – Clinical Governance Climate in WA Mental Health Services 2013
- Chief Psychiatrist’s Thematic Review of MHS – Admission, Risk Assessment, Management Plans, Outcome Measures, Use of the MHA and Discharge Planning Processes 2011
- Chief Psychiatrist’s Thematic Review of MHS – Physical Health Care 2011
- Chief Psychiatrist’s Clinical Governance Review Trends 2010
Further information can be found in the Chief Psychiatrist’s Clinical Monitoring Program Terms of Reference.
Clinical Monitoring reports published by the Chief Psychiatrist can be found here.