Eastern Melbourne PHN completes transition of clinical services

13 July, 2016

People living in Melbourne’s eastern and north eastern suburbs will continue to be supported by key health and mental health services following finalisation of funding arrangements with Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN).

This follows the Federal Government’s direction that PHNs should re-commission or contract out their direct services to prepare for their new role as commissioning organisations rather than as direct service providers.

EMPHN has committed to maintaining service continuity for clients as the number one priority in managing this transition along with maintaining stability across the provider sector in as far as possible for this first round of commissioning.

As a result, EMPHN conducted a select tendering process in line with Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, inviting eligible organisations to tender for the available service contracts.  On completion of the commissioning process EMPHN had successfully transitioned:

  • 200 new contracts have been negotiated and issued
  • 600 clients and client records have been transitioned across to new service providers, and
  • 32 clinical staff have been transitioned across to new employers

Further commissioning of services will be undertaken over the coming months as new funding streams come into effect.

We are pleased to announce that the following service arrangements commenced on 1 July 2016.

Mental Health Nursing Incentive Program (MHNIP)

MHNIP provides mental health treatment and support from a registered mental health nurse upon referral from their GP. This service was previously provided by Medicare Locals and EMPHN, along with a range of other providers.

From 1 July 2016, the MHNIP services that were previously provided by EMPHN will be provided by EACH Social and Community Health and the Melbourne East GP Network (MEGPN). Both of these providers are experienced in the provision of a range of services, including mental health support.

Partners in Recovery (PIR)

Partners in Recovery is a mental health service coordination service that supports people with complex and enduring mental health needs to access and stay connected to all the services they need.

PIR operates through three separate consortia of providers in the inner east, outer east and north of Melbourne. The inner eastern and northern consortia remain unchanged.

The outer east consortium included a number of clinical staff directly employed by EMPHN. These staff have now transitioned to a new employer, Neami National, who will deliver this component of the PIR program from 1 July 2016.

We have also contracted the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service to provide specialist Aboriginal support to PIR consumers across all three consortia into the future.

Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)

The ATAPS program provides people with access to mental health support and counselling with a range of qualified professionals including psychologists, social workers and mental health nurses.

There have been some minor changes to the way ATAPS is administered, but this service was already delivered by external providers prior to these changes.

Integrated Team Care Program (ITC)

Formerly known as the Care Coordination and Supplementary Service, this service now forms part of the ITC program.

The ITC contributes to improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic health conditions through better access to coordinated and multidisciplinary care.

The following services will provide ITC from 1 July 2016: Carrington Health, EACH Social and Community Health, Yarra Ranges Community Health and Banyule Community Health.