From today, Gold Coasters with severe mental health conditions will have access to a new, federally funded program which sees GPs at the centre of coordinated health care involving, amongst others, psychiatrists and allied health workers.
CEO of Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN), Matt Carrodus, said the new service gives more people access to this essential care coordination service.
“Patients from all general practices across the Gold Coast can be referred to the Plus Social program,” said Mr Carrodus.
“Under previous programs, only patients who attended GP practices with mental health nurses could access these kinds of services.”
“Plus Social ensures the GP remains central to the provision of care and supports them with the kind of wrap around care coordination services that they do not necessarily have the resources for. This new service will help to increase the capacity of the primary care sector to consistently and effectively manage people living with severe mental illness.”
The program, delivered by Primary and Community Care Services, has a base at Mermaid Beach, but provides outreach services across the Gold Coast with the ability to meet with participating patients at locations that suit them.
CEO of Primary and Community Care Services Dr James Baker said Plus Social supports people with or, in the case of younger people, at risk of severe mental illness via a structured program of up to 26 weeks duration.
“It provides greater coordination between GPs, psychiatrists and allied health workers to maximise recovery and prevent the escalation of symptoms,” said Dr Baker.
He said in addition to the care coordination and wellbeing aspects of the program, Plus Social patients will be able to utilise an after-hours community space in Mermaid Beach. This space is due to open in September.
For further information about the program, visit www.healthygc.com.au/PlusSocialProgram
or contact Bonnie Ellery, Service Engagement Manager at 07 3186 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org