Hospital finally gets psychiatric nurse

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam welcomed the announcement of a psychiatric liason nurse coming to Bussleton by 2020.
Camera IconVasse MLA Libby Mettam welcomed the announcement of a psychiatric liason nurse coming to Bussleton by 2020. Credit: Taelor Pelusey/Taelor Pelusey

Busselton Health Campus will receive a psychiatric liaison nurse by the end of the year.

Health Minister Roger Cook and the WA Country Health Service confirmed the long-awaited news to the Times this week.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam has been calling for the implementation of a psychiatric liaison nurse at Busselton’s emergency department since December, 2017.

She was joined in her campaign by Busselton clinical psychologist Keith Mowat.

Ms Mettam said she was pleased with the State Government announcement.

“Since hearing concerns from constituents and uncovering through parliamentary questions upward trends in reported suicides in the South West, I have been pushing for improved mental health resources in the region,” she said.

“A psychiatric liaison nurse will ensure patients and the dedicated staff at Busselton Hospital are better supported through the provision of specialist mental health nursing expertise.

“Importantly, the psychiatric liaison nurse will offer targeted face-to-face health care and ensure patients receive appropriate referral, follow-up and linkages with other agencies as required.”

A psychiatric liaison nurse is available at Bunbury Health Campus seven days a week.

A WACHS spokeswoman said the details of the Busselton position were still being determined, but the establishment of the service was in line with the organisation’s commitment to care closer to home.

In addition to the psychiatric liaison nurse service, mental health emergency telehealth services are also set to be launched at the facility in the near future.

Under this service, mental health patients will be able to receive treatment from a psychiatric specialist in Perth via videoconferencing technology.

Mr Cook said as the Minister for Health and Mental Health he was acutely aware of the growing need to incorporate appropriate psychiatric support into the hospital system.

“Delivering healthcare where and when it is needed is a foundation principle of the McGowan Labor Government so I am pleased to be delivering this new service for the local residents,” he said.

Ms Mettam welcomed the upcoming introduction of mental health support via telehealth.

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