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Original Research

Clinician’s perspectives of the relocation of a regional child and adolescent mental health service from co-located to stand alone premises

Submitted: 24 November 2007
Revised: 27 June 2008
Published: 10 September 2008

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Author(s) : Francis KJ, Boyd CP, Sewell J, Nurse S.

Kristy FrancisCandice BoydJessica SewellSarah Nurse

Citation: Francis KJ, Boyd CP, Sewell J, Nurse S.  Clinician’s perspectives of the relocation of a regional child and adolescent mental health service from co-located to stand alone premises. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2008; 8: 893. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=893 (Accessed 21 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Australia’s National Mental Health Strategy’s statement of rights and responsibilities states that children and adolescents admitted to a mental health facility or community program have the right to be separated from adult patients and provided with programs suited to their developmental needs. However, in rural Australia, where a lack of healthcare services, financial constraints, greater service delivery areas and fewer mental healthcare specialists represent the norm, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are sometimes co-located with adult mental health services. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a recent relocation of a regional CAMHS in Victoria from co-located to stand alone premises.
Method:  Six CAMHS clinicians who had experienced service delivery at a co-located setting and the current stand-alone CAMHS setting were interviewed about their perceptions of the impact of the relocation on service delivery. An exploratory interviewing methodology was utilized due to the lack of previous research in this area. Interview data were transcribed and analysed according to interpretative phenomenological analysis techniques.
Results:  Findings indicated a perception that the relocation was positive for clients due to the family-friendly environment at the new setting and separation of CAMHS from adult psychiatric services. However, the impact of the relocation on clinicians was marked by a perceived loss of social capital from adult psychiatric service clinicians.
Conclusion:  These results provide increased understanding of the effects of service relocation and the influence of co-located versus stand-alone settings on mental health service delivery – an area where little prior research exists.

Key words:  Australia, qualitative research, rural adolescent mental health, rural service delivery.

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