In 2015, the Audit Office of NSW carried out an audit to find out about the care that is being provided to people within seven days of discharge from a mental health inpatient unit.
The Audit Office of NSW is the independent auditor of the NSW public sector, and it reports directly to the NSW Parliament.
As part of the audit, the Audit Office of NSW looked at five Local Health Districts to see what they do in relation to follow up care after discharge from hospital. They also interviewed other interested parties, including us at BEING. We shared with the Auditors feedback we received from consumers, the bad and the good. The Audit Office’s report, along with their recommendations, are now on their website.
Overall, the Audit found that services are doing better at following up with people after discharge, and there are a number of processes and systems in place to encourage services to perform better in this area. For example, having the rate of follow up after discharge as a service performance measure, and services carrying out regular reviews and audits themselves, and keeping track of their own performance.
The Audit found that services are not involving consumers, and their carers or family members in the discharging planning as much as they should, and are not routinely giving consumers and carers information about discharge follow up care. However, the Audit found that services are doing better at notifying people’s family doctors and community mental health services about discharge, so those services can help follow up with the person in the community.