New mental health and addiction quality improvement programme

21 Jun 2017 | Other Topics

The Commission is leading a new, five-year mental health and addiction (MHA) quality improvement programme. The programme will identify, select and implement quality improvement initiatives and build quality improvement capability in the mental health and addiction sector.

Regular programme updates will be available on this website and through the Commission’s e-digest (register to receive the e-digest here).

Commission Chief Executive Dr Janice Wilson says mental health and addiction services in New Zealand need to continue to evolve and improve.

‘There is variability in the mental health services and care people receive. Consumers should be able to get the same high-quality care no matter where they are in the country, but this is not currently always the case.

‘This programme sees consumers and health, justice and social agencies working together to continue to improve mental health services so people get the best care.

‘There may be opportunities to improve the performance of services by reducing variation using quality improvement methods. Overseas, these methods have proved effective in improving quality and safety, resulting in significant benefits for consumers and the services they access.’

Dr Wilson says the programme is largely based on the successful Scottish Patient Safety Programme and work undertaken by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

‘This is an evidence-based approach that has international support.’

The Commission has been engaging closely with the sector as part of the planning and establishment of the programme. That process has identified five priority areas:

  • learning from serious adverse events and consumer experience
  • maximising physical health
  • improving service transitions 
  • improving medication management and prescribing.
  • minimising restrictive care.

Counties Manukau Health psychiatrist, Dr Clive Bensemann, is the programme’s clinical lead. Mr Wi Keelan is the programme’s kaumātua and clinical advisor. Mr Keelan is affiliated with Ngāti Porou/Ngāti Kahungunu and has experience in senior roles as a Māori health leader, and more specifically in Māori mental health.

A sector leadership group, chaired by Dr Rees Tapsell, has been convened and will begin meeting in July 2017.

One of the programme’s key initiatives is the development of a MHA quality improvement facilitator programme, to provide frontline staff with improvement skills. This will be delivered by the Commission, Ko Awatea and Counties Manukau Health in collaboration with MHA workforce agency Te Pou.

A series of regional engagement workshops designed to engage consumers, families/whānau and service providers in the MHA quality improvement programme will be held in July/August 2017. They will be arranged in conjunction with the regional MHA networks.

Last updated 21/06/2017