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Minutes 19 November, Sydney

National Mental Health Commission Meeting
19 November, Sydney


Commission Attendees
Professor Allan Fels AO Chair
Mr David Butt Chief Executive Officer and ex-officio Commissioner
Mrs Lucinda Brogden Mental Health Commissioner
Ms Jackie Crowe Mental Health Commissioner
Professor Pat Dudgeon  Mental Health Commissioner

Professor Ian Hickie AM

Mental Health Commissioner
Ms Nicole Gibson Mental Health Commissioner
Mr Rob Knowles Mental Health Commissioner
Hon Dr Kay Patterson Mental Health Commissioner
Commission Staff

Ms Sally Goodspeed

Executive Director
Ms Kim Eagle Chief Operations Officer

Ms Jane Moxon

Director, Policy, Strategy and Projects
Ms Trinette Kinsman
Communications Manager
Mr Peter McDermott Project Officer and Secretariat

Item 1 Welcome and Apologies

Chair Allan Fels welcomed Commissioners and staff. 

Item 2 Preliminaries

2.1 Register of Interests

A change to the register of interests was NOTED, Ms Lucy Brogden has been appointed as an Ambassador for Kookaburra Kids.

2.2 Previous Minutes and Actions Arising

The draft Minutes of the Commission teleconference on 16 October 2015 were APPROVED without amendments and the Actions Arising were NOTED.

Item 3 Meetings

3.1 Meeting with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

Ms Jennifer Nobbs, Director of Mental Health Care

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) gave a presentation to Commissioners on the development of the Australian Mental Health Care Classification.

  • The aim is to achieve transparency, value for money, independence, national comparability and efficiency.
  • The national efficient price is used to determine Commonwealth funding for Local Hospital Networks.
  • Current mental health classifications are not as effective as they could be. Most physical health classifications are based on diagnosis which is not the best way to classify mental health, particularly for community mental health.
  • IHPA is developing a Mental Health Care Classification to better describe how mental health care is provided and what it costs, to help develop more sustainable services and transparent decision making.
  • The new classification will provide a way of describing the factors that inform the types and cost of mental health care and can establish a data collection system to help make more informed decisions.
  • There will be further refinement and consultation prior to finalisation and as the classification is rolled out.

Commissioners welcomed the development of the Australian Mental Health Care Classification and are interested in receiving further updates and briefings on future work.

3.2 Meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Health (DoH)

Mr Eddie Bartnik, Strategic Adviser, Mental Health, NDIA
Ms Deborah Roberts, Director, Mental Health Section, NDIA
Ms Tracy Clarke, Assistant Director, Hunter Trial Site, NDIA
Mr Russell Ayres, Branch Manager, Mental Health, DSS
Ms Janie Lawson, Section Manager, National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition and Strategic Management, Mental Health, DSS
Ms Paula Zylstra, Director, Coordinated Care Section, Mental Health Services Branch, DoH

Representatives from the NDIA, DSS and DoH provided information on the progress and future of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NDIA, and the experiences from the trial site in the Hunter region of NSW.

The Commissioners were encouraged to hear that mental health recovery is supported through the choices available for those who are eligible for the NDIS and that the scheme was evolving through the feedback from the trial sites. Commissioners supported the engagement with consumers, carers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the development and evolution of the scheme.

Commissioners requested further information be provided about individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the NDIS and people who have previously accessed respite care programs outside the scheme, and how their needs will be met.

3.3 Meeting with the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network

Mr Richard Nankervis, CEO
Ms Karen Cuddihy, Mental Health Policy and Planning Officer

The Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network provided an overview of the network and experiences in the area, and advised of the work being done to improve primary health coordination in the region.

  • There are several barriers to accessing existing mental health services in the region including time, cost, distance and lack of transport.
  • Consumers in the region have described limited access to and coordination of mental health services, particularly in rural areas.
  • It is estimated that approximately 1 in 7 people in the PHN experience chronic mental health issues, higher than the national average. The region also experiences higher than average rates of intentional self-harm and hospitilisations for the 15-24 year age group.
  • There are challenges working across a very large geographical area while still understanding local differences and issues.
  • Work is being done to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health through access to culturally appropriate services, recognition and response in service design and increasing community capacity to respond to mental illness and suicide.
  • The PHN has set up local people banks to enable local input from consumers and carers into the health needs of the community.
  • Areas of focus for the PHN includes suicide and self-harm and mothers and children.

Commissioners acknowledged the work and challenges of the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN and supported the work being done to improve the representation of people with lived experience of mental health issues and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Item 4 Updates, Strategy and Commission Work

4.1 CEO Update

The Commissioners welcomed the establishment of a South Australian Mental Health Commission.

4.2 Work Plan Update

Ms Sally Goodspeed provided an overview of project work that has been undertaken by the Commission since the last meeting was provided:

  • Progress toward the development of a National Consensus Statement on the physical health of people with a mental illness, including a workshop scheduled for 30 November 2015.
  • An upcoming meeting of the Seclusion and Restraint Expert Reference Group to discuss next steps in the Commission’s ongoing work to reduce and eliminate seclusion and restraint of people with mental health issues
  • The work of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance
  • The Commission’s ongoing work to support the peer workforce

Item 5 Other Business

Commissioners agreed on three 2016 Commission meeting dates in March (15-16), May (11-12) and July (6-7). The Secretariat will follow up with Commissioners to decide on dates for January/February and October/November 2016. 

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