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"Continuity of mental health care"

About: Broome Health Campus / Allied Health Broome Health Campus / Mental Health Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service

(as the patient),

I am a senior resident. I have been diagnosed with co-morbid PTSD from an incident dating back several decades. I have had assistance from the great crew at Hollywood Trauma Clinic which is still continuing.

Recently I had to confront my past as I was the victim of sustained abuse. Recently I had to address this horrible secret and it hurt the pain is enormous and ongoing. This secret has impacted my personal life and my loved ones.

I have exhausted all avenues available here in Broome, I am desperate to see the guys at Hollywood. My 2 GPs agree and a mental health referral has been forwarded but still nothing. Patient Assisted Travel Assistance declined my application stating it could be treated locally? I had to attend Kimberly Mental Health and spoke with the very nice Doctor I had to retell my story; it hurt and I will not go through that again up here.

I feel I need help to get to Hollywood once again. I believe I have exhausted all avenues here. I feel I cannot wait. I need help, not a fight with the system and time is critical.

Your opinion and help would be appreciated. I have no bright ideas left I have tried suicide twice and that in itself disgusts me. I always thought I was stronger than that but I am not sorry.

Responses

Response from Bec Smith, Regional Director, WACHS - Kimberley 11 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Bec Smith
Regional Director,
WACHS - Kimberley
Submitted on 06/11/2020 at 13:41
Published on Care Opinion at 15:04


picture of Bec Smith

Dear travellertj95,

I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us on Care Opinion. My first concern is for your safety, and if you are comfortable to do so, I would really like you to reach out to the Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service so that we can continue to support your mental health care in any way that we can. You can contact Dr Nicola Lauterwein directly on 9194 2640 who is the Consultant Psychiatrist and is aware of this Care Opinion story so you won’t have to retell your experience. Alternatively, if you aren’t comfortable doing this, please consider contacting your GP, the Hollywood Trauma Clinic, or LifeLine on 13 11 44 for 24/7 Crisis Support.

I am so sorry to read that your experience of care resulted in further hurt during an already difficult time. We know that to best support people who have experienced trauma, we should aim to ensure that people don’t have to repeatedly retell their story to multiple agencies and clinicians and I’m sorry that your interaction did not reflect this. We do not want anyone else to experience the same situation that you have described. I want to let you know that the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) is committed to implementing the principles of trauma-informed care throughout the organisation and our WACHS Mental Health Team is currently developing a plan to do this; which will include training to all employees to support implementation.

In relation to your query about the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS), this is funded by the Royalties for Regions Scheme and aims to support WA country patients’ access to specialist medical services wherever they live in the state. Unfortunately, this service does have some exclusions and doesn’t allow us to provide financial assistance for clinical psychology treatment or for services that are available locally, including those that can be delivered by Telehealth.

These exclusions would have impacted on your PATS eligibility assessment as there is Boab Health Services, Kimberley counselling as well as a number of other private Psychologists in Broome who could offer you counselling.

We do, however, have exceptions to these criteria as we acknowledge that at times there may be other medical reasons why the closest specialist may not be the most appropriate for the person receiving care.

I would like the opportunity to review your PATS application and would really appreciate if you could call me so that I can better investigate your experience. My name is Bec Smith and I am the Regional Director for WACHS Kimberley. My phone number is 08 9195 2450 and my email is Bec.Smith@health.wa.gov.au.

I really hope to hear from you soon and will welcome your call.


Kind Regards,

Bec Smith

Regional Director

WACHS Kimberley

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