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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 217 ..

acknowledge Minister Rattenbury’s amendment, which we will be supporting. We are very much looking forward to the establishment of the office for mental health.

Minister Rattenbury has outlined the extensive work underway to improve access and better coordinate mental health services. Far from standing still, Minister Rattenbury has outlined not just the process and the extensive consultation but also the increase in services, in particular, the services with Menslink, the perinatal mental health services and the extension of CAMHS to weekend services for children and adolescents. Some of these were important commitments by Labor in the lead-up to the last election. We are very pleased to have seen these implemented so quickly in this term of government.

The territory-wide health services framework that Minister Rattenbury referred to also establishes the overarching principles to guide development and redesign of all healthcare services across the territory over the next decade, and of course this includes mental health.

The framework is focused on integrating services across three areas of health care: preventive health, community-based care and care in hospitals. A number of key pieces of work in ACT Health are currently underway as a result of this framework, all of which contribute to the provision of a holistic, integrated healthcare system that is patient-centred for people in our community.

I can confirm that the establishment of the territory-wide health services group has now occurred. As I mentioned in a previous debate, I was very pleased to meet with that advisory group for the first time late last month. The advisory group includes representation of people who will bring important and powerful insights into mental health, and their expertise will inform the final framework as well as the important work being undertaken for the office for mental health.

One of the most tangible benefits of this approach to service planning will be making it easier for patients to navigate the services they need. I am also pleased to let members of the Assembly know that the development and implementation of specialty service plans is already occurring, with significant stakeholder consultation internal to ACT Health underway, and external stakeholder consultation anticipated to start later this year.

We are very proud of this framework, which also highlights the strategic priorities for ACT Health, one of which is mental health. Development of the specialty service plan for mental health, justice health and alcohol and drug services is underway. In planning for the future role and capacity of these services across the territory, there is an opportunity to develop services that support contemporary models of care, including a greater emphasis on primary, community and ambulatory services, with a multidisciplinary orientation.

The specialty service plan will highlight the provision of recovery-focused care and services that are better integrated with non-government and commonwealth-funded services for the benefit of the individual and their carers and family.

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