Help in the home for patients through New Farm Clinic
Mar 19, 2019
Hundreds of mental health patients are being treated in the comfort of their own homes each year, which is having a dramatic impact on health outcomes and hospital re-admissions.
Staff from New Farm Clinic are making more than 380 visits each month to the homes of outpatients to monitor their symptoms and provide them with the necessary support to manage their illnesses.
New Farm Clinic CEO Kenneth Craig said clinicians can identify a relapse while visiting a patient.
Patients can be referred to the ‘Hospital in the Home’ program at the end of their stay at New Farm Clinic and can receive weekly, fortnightly or three-weekly visits from nurses or allied health staff.
The program has been running for the past 15 years, but there has been a steady increase in the number of patients who are using the service.
250 patients per year receive treatment through the program, which has grown to become one of the largest community outreach programs in Australia.
“It’s quite simplistic in its approach but it can have quite a profound affect on the patients,” Mr Craig said.
Many patients admitted to New Farm Clinic don’t have a strong support network around them and this can lead to frequent hospital re-admissions. The program is providing vital community engagement, which has helped to significantly lower these figures.
“It’s a point of contact. Remember, a lot of these people live at home alone and it keeps a nice connection for the person as well,” CEO Ken Craig said.
New Farm Clinic offers patient programs that specialise in the treatment of mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, psycho-geriatrics and general psychiatry.
Patients are assessed at the end of their stay to ensure the ‘Hospital in the Home’ program is suitable for them. It can be available to patients for up to six months after being discharged to maintain a high level of ongoing care.