Submission to the Review into Clinical Governance of WA Mental Health Services | AMA (WA)

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AMA (WA) | WA Mental Health

Submission to the Review into Clinical Governance of WA Mental Health Services

Thursday May 2, 2019

The AMA (WA) has conducted a survey in order to provide direction for AMA (WA) advocacy and the AMA (WA)’s submission to the Review of the Clinical Governance of Public Mental Health Services in Western Australia (WA). The Survey was circulated to psychiatrists, general practitioners, emergency medicine doctors, addiction medicine specialists and any practitioner who has noted an interest in these specialities, mental health or AOD services. There were over 160 responses over the 6 days that the survey was available to practitioners.


The AMA (WA) has urged the Review to prioritise recommendation timeframes and the parties responsible for implementing recommendations. This follows numerous high profile reviews of WA’s mental health services that have provided comprehensive analysis and recommendations designed to improve mental health services, which have so far failed to produce the required improvements.

With specific reference to Clinical Governance, the AMA (WA) has also called for:

  • Simplified governance structures that place medical practitioners, as content experts, at the heart of service provision and service delivery decision-making
  • Greater engagement with clinicians and primary care providers
  • Transparent reporting and measurement of consumer outcomes to improve accountability and service delivery.
  • Clear pathways for the clinical workforce to escalate concerns about service delivery and patient care.
  • An independent, urgent review of all medical practitioner appointments in mental health and AOD services in the WA Health System should be undertaken. Specifically, abuse of short term contracts should cease immediately and current abuses should be rectified. A system of long term and permanent appointments should be implemented immediately.
  • In recognition of the important role that clinical engagement and morale play in effective clinical governance, targets and recommendations relating to clinical morale and engagement must be implemented as soon as possible. Employment strategies and support systems that placate the current culture of fear and retribution in the workplace are necessary.

Read the complete submission online here.

AMA (WA) would like to thank all survey respondents for their time and feedback.