… in Launceston General Hospital’s Emergency Department

Northern mental health consumers, and staff from the Launceston General Hospital’s Emergency Department and Mental Health Services, met on Thursday 30th July 2015 to address perceptions and misconceptions of mental health consumers’ treatment in the Emergency Department.

Some mental health consumers had approached Flourish Mental Health Action In Our Hands Inc, Tasmania’s key consumer systemic advocacy group, to voice their concerns about their experiences whilst accessing the Emergency Department.

Staff representatives from Mental Health Services and the Emergency Department, Tasmanian Health Service – North openly discussed the Emergency Department’s current environment, the national regulations and standards around providing care to any person who presented at Emergency in Launceston.

Miranda Ashby, Executive Officer of Flourish, Mental Health Action In Our Hands Inc, welcomed the opportunity for consumers to have their say, and to propose ideas to enhance the Emergency Department (ED) experience for everyone. ‘It’s a great result to see Department staff and consumers working together and having respectful, yet frank conversations, about the issues. Often misconceptions on either side (patient and service provider) can exacerbate a highly stressful time when going into hospital.’ Miranda further explained that ‘Thursday’s forum enabled a clearer understanding by staff of what it’s like for mental health consumers to be in the ED’s waiting room for sometimes long periods of time; and for consumers, more understanding of how the ED works, and the constraints on the ED to ensure the safety and protections of all patients and staff’.

Miranda stated that ‘the regular forums held by Flourish and the Tasmanian Health Service – North enabled the Department to listen to consumers’ experiences and ideas when they were able to participate, so that they felt respected and listened to when they were unwell.’
Miranda Ashby, Executive Officer, Flourish