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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2207 ..

result of dementia or related health problems'. Has this been achieved in any way, if so please provide supporting documentation, if not, why not and when will this commitment be met.

Mr Corbell

: The answer to the member's question is:

(1) In the 2002-2003 budget an additional $622,000 was allocated for older persons mental health. This was made up of $322,000 recurrent for expansion of the Older Persons Mental Health Service and $300,000 recurrent for Psycho-geriatric Care, for dementias with challenging behaviours. All monies were allocated to the budget of the Older Persons Mental Health Service, which was part of the Mental Health Service Team at The Canberra Hospital. From 1 January 2003 it is part of Mental Health ACT.

Of the $300,000 allocated for psycho geriatric care, $200,000 was allocated to employ a psycho-geriatrician who would establish an Academic Department for Psychiatry of Old Age as part of the Older Persons Mental Health Service. The recruitment took some time, and we were very fortunate to recruit Dr Jeff Looi in the later half 2002. Dr Looi is the Director, Academic Department for Psychiatry of Old Age and Senior Staff Specialist at the Canberra Hospital. He holds Visiting Fellowships at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital and the Centre for Mental Health Research, ANU. Prior to coming to Canberra in early December 2002 Dr Looi was working in Sydney at St George Hospital, Aged Mental Health Team.

Dr Looi is a psychiatrist with expertise and research interests in the psychiatry of ageing, including dementia and psychiatric illness in later life. His general psychiatric interests are in treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. He is a member of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). Dr Looi has been awarded the NSW Institute of Psychiatry Research Training Fellowship (1998), inaugural Psychiatry of Old Age Prize (RANZCP, 1998), and the Lundbeck Institute Fellowship for Psychiatry of Old Age (RANZCP, 2000) and the Organon Junior Research Award (RANZCP, 2003) for his research and teaching in psychiatry of ageing.

Expenditure to 30 April 2003 on salary for Dr Looi and administrative support was $62,600.

It was intended to allocate the remaining $100,000 to provide "top up"funding to an existing aged care facility for access to beds for people with dementia with challenging behaviours for high needs psycho geriatric clients. This is the model used to "top up"funding for 10 beds at Sir Leslie Moreshead Home. Unfortunately, after negotiations with a number of nursing homes, we were not able to find a nursing home willing to take on this extremely difficult client group.

We have now allocated the $100,000 to open two additional beds in the Acute Aged Care Unit at The Canberra Hospital, Ward 11 A, specifically for this group of clients with challenging behaviours. The beds will open on 1 June 2003. Projected expenditure for the month of June is $14,219. There was no expenditure to 30 April on those beds.

Projected expenditure to 30 June on the full initiative is $112,172.

(2) Provision of adequate housing and care for elderly people exhibiting challenging behaviour, often as a result of dementia or related health problems.

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