Building collaborative cultures of care

within NSW mental health services

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Policy context

The NSW Health vision for mental health services is for ‘the people of NSW [to] have the best opportunity for good mental health and wellbeing and to live well in their community and on their own terms’.10

The NSW Strategic Framework and Workforce Plan for Mental Health 2018–2022 highlights these interconnected action areas for NSW Health:

  • holistic, person-centred care
  • safe, high quality care, and
  • connected care.9

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Service Standards provides a formal structure and accountability mechanism to partnering with people with lived experience and their family, kinship groups and carers that outlines three key steps to active collaboration:

  1. Actively involve patients in their own care and their families and carers where appropriate
  2. Meet the patient and their carer’s information needs, and
  3. Shared decision-making.11

Shared decision-making prioritises the choices and preferences of people, and also appropriately engages their families, carers and kinship groups to identify preferences and help support delivery of these. This process is more complex when people may not have the capacity to make decisions about their own care or components of their care, however the following standard provides further information: