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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 8 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3577..


(2) Has Ward 2N ever had a shortage of (a) social workers and (b) mental health nursing staff; if yes, when and by how many.

(3) Who is responsible for employing (a) social workers and (b) mental health nursing staff that service Ward 2N.

(4) What methods has the ACT Government used to check the numbers of social workers and mental health nursing staff that have been employed to service Ward 2N.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Social work staff level in Ward 2N has been 1 FTE and mental health nursing staff level 29.13 FTE consistently over the requested year groups.

(2) The only staff shortages have occurred around unplanned leave such as illness or non-work related circumstances.

(3) Calvary Health Care ACT employs both social workers and nursing staff for Ward 2N.

(4) Ward 2N reports regularly on its service through both the Calvary executive and the Mental Health/Alcohol and Drug/Justice streams of the ACT Health Directorate.

Mental health—services (Question No 1645)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 28 June 2011:

If a person with a mental illness lives in Queanbeyan but has family, including a carer, living in the ACT and that person has a NSW mental health treatment order applied to them and is required to stay in an acute mental health unit, can it be facilitated so that the person is sent to Ward 2N or the Psychiatric Services Unit rather than Goulburn; if so, how can the client or consumer trigger that process.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member's question is as follows:

Under the Australian Healthcare Agreement any eligible person may voluntarily present to a hospital with any health condition, including a mental illness, and if inpatient treatment is warranted and the hospital can provide the service then that person is entitled to receive that service from that hospital.

The ACT and NSW have a ministerial mental health interstate agreement that facilitates the transfer of mental health consumers, who are subject to involuntary mental health orders, between the mental health services in the two jurisdictions. Under this Agreement a person under a NSW mental health order may have been taken, in the first instance, from Queanbeyan to the Canberra Hospital. This would require the clinicians in NSW being aware of the Agreement and for the transfer to be negotiated with the ACT Chief Psychiatrist.

I understand that nearly half of the residents at "Home in Queanbeyan"have been referred from the ACT and so many residents have particularly close connections with the ACT, such as family or carers. I have asked the ACT Mental Health Service to liaise with the


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