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Report Details


Committee Name:

Public Administration Committee

House:

Legislative Council
Report Type:Report

Title:

Compliance of the Department of Health with Recommendations of the Auditor General's 2001 Report on Life Matters: Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People
Report No:2
No of Pages:114
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:

09/21/2006
Related Report(s):Report No 2 - Compliance of the Department of Health with Recommendations of the Auditor General's 2001 Report on Life Matters: Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People (21 Sep 2006)
Inquiry Name(s):Management of Deliberate Self Harm in Young People


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Hide details for Executive Summary [<br><br>]Executive Summary



1.In November 2005, the Committee resolved to scrutinise all statutory office holders’ reports (that is reports of the Auditor General, the Commissioner for Public Sector Standards, the Information Commissioner, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrative Investigations and the Inspector of Custodial Services) to determine if any subject matters could be matched against the Committee’s terms of reference for further inquiry. This report is the first occasion of that initiative and arose out of the Committee scrutinising the Auditor General’s Second Public Sector Performance Report 2005, Report No 8, tabled in the Parliament on 19 October 2005.

2.In 2001, the Auditor General conducted a performance examination of the Department of Health’s management of deliberate self-harm in young people. The report of that examination, entitled “Life Matters: Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People”, was tabled in the Parliament on 28 November 2001. The 2001 Performance Examination compared the care given by hospital emergency departments and community mental health services against guidelines developed in 2000 by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists for the management of deliberate self-harm in young people.

3.Four years later, the Auditor General audited the Department of Health’s compliance with the six recommendations made in the 2001 Performance Examination. The Follow-Up Examination, reported in the Auditor General’s Second Public Sector Performance Report 2005, concluded that the Department of Health had made limited progress in addressing the six recommendations.

4.Noting this conclusion of the Auditor General’s 2005 Follow-Up Examination, the Committee considered that further scrutiny of the Department of Health’s actions in the four years following the 2001 Performance Examination was warranted.

5.Through its inquiry, the Committee was able to scrutinise the specific actions taken by the Department of Health following the 2001 Performance Examination. The Committee examined witnesses from the Office of the Auditor General and the Department of Health, providing both agencies with an opportunity to put forward their respective views on the level of progress made by the Department of health between 2001 and 2005.

6.The Committee also sought to examine the Department of Health’s progress from a health consumer’s perspective, through Mr Keith Wilson, former Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia, and from a research/policy perspective, through Professor Sven Silburn, Chair of the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention.

7.The Committee’s inquiry was welcomed by the Auditor General, as it provided an appropriate vehicle for a more detailed investigation of the Department of Health’s actions between 2001 and 2005, thus complementing the 2005 Follow-Up Examination by the Office of the Auditor General.

8.The Committee identified specific improvements required to enhance the clinical management of young people at risk of deliberate self-harm, particularly within the context of more effective and efficient administrative practices.


Recommendations

9. Recommendations are grouped as they appear in the text at the page number indicated:

Page 12


    Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Department of Health, through the Office of Mental Health, actively monitors and facilitates compliance with the Guidelines for the Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People in emergency departments throughout Western Australia.

Page 12


    Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that the Department of Health prioritises the allocation of resources to expedite the completion of the Deliberate Self-Harm Risk Assessment Tool pilot project.

Page 12


    Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that the Department of Health, in consultation with the universities and training institutions, urgently convenes a working group to develop alternative strategies to address immediate and longer-term mental health workforce shortages.

Page 15


    Recommendation 4: The Committee recommends that the Department of Health, through either the Office of Mental Health or the Chief Psychiatrist, more actively assist mental health services to gain and maintain compliance with National Mental Health Standards.

Page 21


    Recommendation 5: The Committee recommends that the Office of Mental Health prioritises the development of a standardised framework, with clearly defined core parameters, on which local collaborative care protocols would be based and that the Office of Mental Health assumes a coordinating role in the establishment of local collaborative care protocols.

Page 21


    Recommendation 6: The Committee recommends that the Office of Mental Health works closely with community based mental health services in prioritising resources to ensure that deliberate self-harm patients receive post-discharge follow-up in the community within the timeframes recommended in the Guidelines for the Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People.

Page 25


    Recommendation 7: The Committee recommends that the Office of Mental Health develops a formal evaluation framework for implementation of the Guidelines for the Management of Deliberate Self-Harm in Young People.

Page 25


    Recommendation 8: The Committee recommends that the program established by the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention to monitor management of deliberate self-harm in metropolitan teaching hospitals be extended to all public hospitals in Western Australia.