CALHN Mental Health Short Stay Unit - Allied Health Staffing Outcomes

23 March 2016

Following ongoing discussions and Public Service Association (PSA) notification of a dispute to the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Mental Health (MH) Directorate, the PSA has received written confirmation of allied health staffing for the Mental Health Short Stay (MHSS) services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Both services will commence on a three month trial basis, on an agreed date once staff are in place.

In relation to the RAH: Recruitment for staff will now progress, which includes a 0.7FTE for Social Work and Occupational Therapy, across seven days for the duration of the trial. CALHN MH advise that this equates to 4 hours per day, with backfill for planned staff absences built in.

In relation to TQEH: CALHN MH have agreed to extend the contract of the second Social Worker in Cramond (1.0FTE) from now through the duration of the trial – which represents 0.7FTE as per the RAH, plus an additional 0.3FTE to support the transition to implementation of the MHSS Model of Care.

In relation to both MHSS units, the PSA has continued to raise concerns regarding the ability for staff to undertake the duties required in an effective and timely manner if they are only available for 4 hours per day, and the associated workload concerns. As a result, CALHN MH have also agreed to undertake a process to fully define the tasks and priorities for Allied Health staff in both of the above MHSS Units and Cramond. This will be undertaken by Occupational Health and Social Work discipline principals, in conjunction with incumbent staff, and will include identification and measurement of appropriate workloads, and consideration of the input and expectations of community mental health teams.

Given the formal written confirmation of the above, the PSA will not lodge a formal dispute with the South Australian Industrial Relations Commission in regards to this matter.