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Making Health Better
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Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is now inviting tender submissions for the provision of services for people with severe and complex mental illness in the Townsville region.

The aims of the tender are aligned with overall mental health reforms and implementation of the stepped care model and include:

  • alignment of mental health service delivery to the stepped care model for the severe and complex cohort
  • improved access to mental health services for people with severe and complex mental illness in rural areas
  • increased utilisation of available providers and resources throughout the Townsville region.

The tender defines the Townsville region as encompassing the Hinchinbrook, Townsville, Charters Towers, Flinders, Richmond, and Burdekin Local Government Areas (LGAs).

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg said the new services will see individuals placed at the centre of their own health and wellbeing with improved mental health care.

“Services will integrate within a stepped primary mental health continuum that interfaces with the public mental health system, community-managed mental health programs, special and community services, and the NDIS to ensure individuals receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” said Mr Gregg.

“Service providers will ensure eligible clients from the previous Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) program are transitioned into the new program, stepped down, or discharged from the service when their needs for mental health support no longer require severe and complex mental illness services.

“This person-centred and holistic approach will contribute to our vision of northern Queenslanders living happier, healthier, longer lives.”

Clear referral protocols will be established between GPs, specialists, and other services across the stepped care continuum in collaboration with Connect to Wellbeing – the stepped care central intake provider.

Earlier this year NQPHN made the difficult but necessary decision to delay the transition of the MHNIP as a result of the major flooding event in Townsville and the impact it had on the entire community – including MHNIP clients and service providers.

It was imperative to postpone the tender and transition until now to ensure continuity of care for a vulnerable client group in a familiar structure and environment during this challenging time.

MHNIP has already successfully transitioned to this new model in the Cairns and Mackay regions.

Applicants interested in applying for the tender should visit NQPHN’s online procurement portal at www.nqphn.com.au/commissioning

The tender closes Tuesday 10 December 2019.