The Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office (MHDAO) have a number of systems and initiatives in place to ensure that the quality of services in mental health and drug and alcohol areas are maintained and improved across NSW.

Workforce Development

A number of initiatives have been developed and implemented by MHDAO to address workforce shortages as identified in the Productivity Commissions Report on Australia's Health Workforce (2006) and at the February and July 2006 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meetings. These mental health and drug and alcohol workforce development initiatives are aligned with activities identified in key state and national plans and strategies.
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Clinical Governance

Clinical Governance is an important aspect of MHDAO's work. It is through these initiatives that clinicians and administrators take joint responsibility for making sure that the quality of patient care in mental health and drug and alcohol areas are maintained and improved.
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Area Health Services and MHDAO play a key role in developing partnerships with Government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and other relevant stakeholders to support mental health and drug and alcohol policies. These partnerships serve to improve services for people with mental health and drug and alcohol problems, engage the government and NGO sector to optimise government and NGO contribution and evaluate outcomes.
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Planning and Evaluation

A mental health service planning model has been developed at MHDAO that provides the epidemiological, clinical and financial evidence base for mental health needs and services in NSW. This model has also been used by Area Health Services to inform area level planning. A drug and alcohol service planning model is currently in development and will help to provide important information about drug and alcohol needs and services in NSW.
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Clinical Information

MHDAO is responsible for leading the implementation of state mental health and drug and alcohol priorities identified in the NSW State Plan. The progress of this work is reported quarterly against targets set out in the State Plan.

The Mental Health Outcomes and Assessment Tools (MH-OAT) is a statewide initiative that is overseen by MHDAO. It aims to improve the quality of mental health care in NSW and involves strengthening mental health assessment skills, training in standard protocols for assessment documentation and training in using the standard measures being implemented nationally under the Second National Mental Health Plan.

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MHDAO supports research in Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol to guide the development of evidence based policy and practice.
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Page Updated: Thursday 25 July 2013
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch