Australia’s National Mental Health Service Planning Framework: Are opinion-based algorithms driving mental health policy?

Stephen Allison, Tarun Bastiampillai, Jeffrey C.L. Looi, David Copolov

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

The National Mental Health Service Planning Framework (NMHSPF) aims to translate evidence into policy (Whiteford et al., 2013). Based on this apparently solid foundation, the NMHSPF is used to allocate resources in Australia’s public hospital and community mental health sectors, affecting the working lives of public sector psychiatrists around the country. Some State/Territory Governments are relying on the NMHSPF to solve major problems such as emergency department (ED) access block (Allison et al., 2020)—where patients experience extended stays in EDs while awaiting admission, and may be discharged early to free up beds before receiving adequate inpatient treatment. Premature discharge can be associated with heightened risks of suicide, aggression, incarceration and homelessness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Early online date5 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • National Mental Health Service Planning Framework (NMHSPF)
  • mental health policy
  • community mental health
  • public sector psychiatrists
  • Emergency department (ED)

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