In WA, both the Chief Psychiatrist’s Standards for Care and the National Standards for Mental Health Services are statutory. Mandatory compliance is required by all services defined as mental health services by the Mental Health Act 2014.
Three implementation guidelines are available which outline how the criteria of the standards apply to different settings (public mental health services and private hospitals, non-government community services, and private office based mental health practices).
The Mental Health Act 2014 requires the Chief Psychiatrist to be responsible for overseeing the treatment and care to a range of users of mental health services. The Chief Psychiatrist is required to discharge that responsibility by publishing a set of standards for treatment and care provided by mental health services and overseeing compliance with those standards.
The Chief Psychiatrist of Western Australia has accepted the National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010 (NSMHS) as the overarching standards relevant for the Mental Health Act 2014 and published an additional set of standards, the Chief Psychiatrist’s Standards for Clinical Care, to supplement the NSMHS in areas requiring jurisdictional focus.
It is the expectation of the Chief Psychiatrist of Western Australia that services defined as mental health services by the Mental Health Act 2014 will enter into an agreement with a suitable provider to undertake routine compliance assessments against the NSMHS. This may be done concurrently with other accreditation processes. Due to the statutory requirement, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has granted Western Australian mental health services approval for concurrent assessment of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and the NSMHS.
Please note that while mental health services have a statutory requirement to adhere to both sets of standards, compliance assessments against the NSMHS will not evaluate the service’s compliance with the Chief Psychiatrist’s Standards for Clinical Care. This is overseen through the Chief Psychiatrist’s Clinical Monitoring Program.