Winner for Minister for Mental Health Award for Excellence in the provision of mental health services​ and finalist for Integrated Health Care

St ​Vincent's Health Network (SVHN)

Pru Goward, Jo Rodgerson, Jacqueline Huber, Louisa Norrie, Claudia Woolf, Katie Friel, Melissa Levi, Julia Kennedy

There is significant medical and psychiatric staffing shortages in regional Australia. International first, Psychogeriatric SOS, is a clinician-to-clinician service bringing expertise via webconferencing for those who manage the care of vulnerable older patients.

The service established partnerships with rural local health districts, primary health networks and non government organisations. The project set up a purpose-built website, clinician-to-clinician web-conferencing, and supported upskilling of rural clinicians to achieve best practice with mental health and dementia-related issues. This has improved communication between providers and enhanced access to psychogeriatric expertise for older rural patients, achieving more dignified outcomes.

This is an innovative model of service delivery, as well as problemsolving around technological problems, communication issues, and change management. Evaluation data demonstrates that rural clinicians feel supported and confident in delivering improved quality care for their older, rural patients.​​​​​​​​​​​

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Page Updated: Thursday 10 November 2016