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On 20 December 2016, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), Ms Jackie Hanson contacted the Chief Psychiatrist raising concerns about the level of clinical care provided at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service (OPMHS). Ms Hanson requested the Chief Psychiatrist undertake an external independent review of the Oakden Facility as a matter of urgency with the intention of providing a report in April 2017.

SA Health has accepted and will implement all of the recommendations contained within the report. A number of recommendations have already been implemented or are underway following the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network’s own investigations and as a result to an audit conducted by the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Quality Agency in February and March 2017.

These actions have included introducing senior clinical support at Oakden 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the recruitment of a mental health clinical pharmacist; and engaging an additional senior registered nurse to provide additional clinical leadership after hours and on weekends.

Other actions that are already underway or planned include:

  • Developing a state-wide Older Person’s Mental Health Service Model of Care across all Local Health Networks, that aligns with best practice and provides high quality care to older people who live with the most severe forms of disabling mental illness and behavioural and psychosocial symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
  • Decommissioning the Makk and McLeay Nursing Home and transitioning residents to more appropriate services to support their care needs. A range of alternative service options will be discussed with families, including refurbished facilities at Northgate Aged Care Services which will be specially adapted for residents, and other appropriate residential aged care facilities.
  • Residents and their families will be fully consulted to ensure an appropriate placement is identified and a seamless transition can occur.
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