Shared Care with General Practitioners Program

Communique #1 | SA Health news re administration of the Shared Care Program from 1 July 2018

The State-funded Mental Health Shared Care with General Practitioners Program (MHSC) has been running for over 10 years. The program involves Mental Health Clinicians working alongside General Practitioners (GPs) to deliver services to adults with Tier 3 (severe) mental illness, to keep them well in the South Australian community. This includes individuals experiencing low prevalence, severe, high complexity disorders including schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, bipolar affective disorder, severe depression and anxiety and personality disorders.

The program has been administered by General Practice SA (GPSA) under contract with SA Health, and service delivery has been provided through six contracted Service Providers throughout the metropolitan and regional areas of South Australia.

The service agreement expires on 30 June 2018 and the current focus is on transitioning the governance and administration to the Adelaide and Country SA Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and developing a newly designed model of care to be established from 1 July 2018. The Country SA PHN will continue with the current country Non-Government Organisation (NGO) service providers, and the Adelaide PHN will be requesting for tenders from metropolitan NGO mental health service providers.

GPs referring to country-based Shared Care services are asked to continue to use the same referral processes. GPs referring to metropolitan-based Shared Care services are asked to continue to use the same referral processes, however, from 1 July you will be requested to send metropolitan referrals to the Adelaide PHN’s Central Referral Unit.

A centralised referral service receives all referrals and allocates the referrals to the most appropriate provider. This is a same day service which operates from 9am-4pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

– Central Referral fax number: 1300 580 249
 – Mental Health Enquiry phone number: 1300 898 213

SA Health has been consulting with all stakeholders and working closely with GPSA and the PHNs to develop a transition plan and referral pathways to ensure that all consumers receive a service during this transition period. Quality collaboration will assist with an outcome of seamless services for mental health consumers.

A new model of care for MHSC will be co-designed in partnership with the PHNs. It is intended that the partnership will improve mental health consumer flow through Community Mental Health teams to GPs which will enable mental health consumers to have better access to community mental health services. Through this partnership, SA Health wishes to improve patient outcomes and reduce avoidable demand for public hospital services.

We will continue working closely with LHNs, PHNs and stakeholders to ensure that you are provided with regular
information on the progress of the transition.

If you have any questions about the work being undertaken, feel free to contact Julie Deane, Senior Project Officer
on 08 8226 6182.

To download the Practical Guide for Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness, click here