A new innovative model of mental health care officially launches today with the opening of Canberra’s new Deakin Private Hospital, marking a new era in mental health treatment.
The state-of-the-art Deakin Private Hospital facility is the first of three to be operated under the iMH joint venture between mental health provider Aurora Healthcare and Medibank, with two more to be established in Sydney in the next two years.
The $27 million hospital has 52 patient beds, including 12 for adolescents and young adults aged 16 years and over in a dedicated unit that includes a brightly painted basketball court and relaxation areas.
Deakin Private Hospital provides care for mental health patients in an integrated setting – leveraging both hospital and community services, aiming to reduce readmission and give patients more choice, value and control.
The model will focus on continuity of care through diverse pathways that accommodate inpatient, day attendance, in-home and community-based treatment, providing critical services for the ACT community and surrounding regions including Goulburn and Yass.
iMH CEO Joanne Levin said Deakin Private Hospital championed clinical autonomy, supporting psychiatrists to deliver care through flexible treatment options for patients receiving care both overnight and community care.
“The iMH model aims to provide alternatives to overnight hospitalisation where clinically appropriate, by putting the doctor in the driver's seat as they partner with their patients in determining when, where and how they receive care,” she said.
“Many patients who are admitted to a mental health hospital will require re-admission. This new model of care aims to provide additional longitudinal treatment and support to patients post hospital discharge.
“A patient journey, where clinically required, may commence with an overnight hospital admission for assessment and treatment. The patient may then be referred to a case management treatment model where they are visited at home by a mental health clinician and also have follow up appointments twice a day via telehealth.
“We recognise that recovery is a journey and people have different needs at different stages.
“The model of care at Deakin Private Hospital has been developed to deliver care attuned to the evolving needs of patients in a setting that best supports their recovery.
“By providing access to an alternative model of care, Deakin Private Hospital gives doctors and patients the power to choose the right treatment at the right time to meet patient treatment goals.”
Christopher Payne was one of the first patients to visit the new hospital. He wanted to share his story in the hopes it helps others access the correct support and receive the care they need.
The 38-year-old from the Riverina Region said his stay was extremely comfortable and it completely changed his perception of psychiatric facilities.
“It was my first visit to a mental health hospital, and I was very worried and uncomfortable about going, but the staff were really welcoming," he said.
"The team was incredibly supportive and helpful 24 hours a day and that made it so much easier to be there.
“After discharge there are outpatient programs I can attend, but my circumstances prevent me from going in-person, so I’ve been able to connect with my care team over the phone to continue my treatment.
“In my line of work, I know there are many people who would benefit from attending Deakin Private.
Featuring landscaped grounds with passive and active recreational spaces, the new facility offers private beds with ensuites and group therapy rooms in a comfortable and inviting setting, alongside co-located private practice suites and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) clinics.
Ms Levin said the iMH model would bring innovation to the sector, “It will also support the long-term sustainability of the system in the face of rising demand.
“We are extremely proud to be providing alternative models for care in mental health.” Constructed by Barwon Investment Partners, Deakin Private Hospital is the first facility under the Aurora Healthcare / Medibank joint venture.
Hirondelle Private Hospital in Chatsworth, Sydney will be converted to an iMH mental health facility in late 2024, providing much needed services to the community, with a third iMH hospital to be built in Alexandria and scheduled to open in 2025.