Hospital Transition Pathways - Listening to the voices of consumers, carers and service providers

On Saturday ConNetica Director and CEO Marion Wands and Research Consultant Alex Stretton returned from a monumental five days of data collection for the jointly funded WAPHA and WA Mental Health Commission Hospital Transition Pathways Project. This project involves 4 WA hospitals – Rockingham, Joondalup, Sir Charles Gairdner and Albany. 

The aims of the Hospital Transition Pathways Project are to better understand the transitions to, through and from tertiary care for people experiencing a mental illness, and to improve the quality of their care and health outcomes.

During the focus groups, existing pathways were described, including identification of what is currently working well and needs improvement and these pathways were redefined to improve transition, the experience of care and potential health outcomes. A focus group was dedicated to listening to the voices of Indigenous Consumers and Carers from Albany, so that the unique needs of this population group were identified and recorded. Twenty-one local Indigenous people attended this session.

Special thanks to Leigh Newman, WAPHA Project Manager who played a key role in coordinating and arranging each of the 8 focus groups with nominated hospital personnel, carers and consumers and to ConNetica’s valued team member Rita Leon, who supported associated focus group logistics.

What resulted from the five intensive days was over 50 sheets of butchers’ paper notes and over 40 pages of typed notes which recorded the in-depth conversations about health care design, experiences and recommendations for improved transitions. 

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A small selection of brainstorming from the week long stakeholder forums

Importantly, the team had the privilege of meeting and listening to the stories of those who had experienced the tertiary care system, both positive and negative. These experiences will help shape the future of tertiary care for those experiencing a mental illness, and we are extremely grateful to the consumers and carers who gave up their time to work with us on the project.

Clockwise: ConNetica Director Marion Wands with consumers and carers; Indigenous consumers and carers; Research Consultant Alex Stretton diligently taking notes; service providers in discussion; WAPHA Project Manager Leigh Newman (2nd from left) and ConNetica Director and CEO Marion Wands (far right) with consumers and carers