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Local Specialist MHA concept FAQs

These will be updated as we receive more questions. If you would like to ask a question that is not covered by the below, please email mhachange@ccdhb.org.nz. 

Updated 16.01.22

How is this different from what we are already doing? 

The vision for the Mental Health and Addiction Change Programme is mental health and wellbeing for everyone, in our communities - individuals, whānau and communities supported by trusted health services that respect people’s unique sense of culture, spirituality and wellbeing.  

We acknowledge the excellent work already happening to deliver equitable care to people in their communities. We want to take this a step further by increasing our equity focus with the aim of creating greater service consistency across our district.  

We also want to invest in services that we know from data and evaluation produce positive outcomes for the people we look after, more specifically kaupapa Mäori and Pacific NGO services, and interagency partnerships.   

This is also consistent with the direction in Te Pae Tata, the Interim Health Plan (Te Whatu Ora, 2022). 

I don't understand how this relates to my job.  

For the majority of kaimahi working across the mental health and addiction sector, this will not directly affect your job, especially at this conceptual stage. It reflects a move towards a more integrated mental health and addiction system, and how different organisations across the sector will work together. You will start to see how this looks for you more clearly over the coming months. 

Previously you have referred to an Integrated Locality Mental Health and Addiction Team. What is the difference between that and what is proposed in the paper (i.e., Local Specialist Mental Health and Addiction Service)? 

Integrated Locality Mental Health and Addiction Team was the first proposed name to describe the bringing together of a core set of mental health functions, which are currently siloed, into a single integrated team. That is, community mental health, crisis responses, and access and triage functions working together as an integrated team. 

This type of approach is still in the concept stage, but we received feedback that the name we chose didn’t accurately reflect what we were trying to describe. Therefore, we have changed the language slightly to acknowledge the specialist nature of the mental health and addiction functions we provide. The proposed name for the project and the service is Local Specialist Mental Health and Addiction Services. We are not completely fixed with this name so will be open to feedback on this as we progress.  

I noticed you have removed the word 'Adult’ - will the service also work with people who are under the age of 18 years old? 

No, services for this age group are out of scope for this proposed concept and delivery model. 

What is the difference between the Local Specialist Mental Health and Addiction Service and the Hubs? 

The hub will be a physical place in the community, from which many different services and supports will operate, including peer support and leadership. Potentially this will include community cultural services, primary care, mental health and addiction NGO providers, and in some cases and at some times, secondary mental health and addiction staff. It is envisioned that each community will understand its unique needs and therefore determine what is needed in its hub: by the community, for the community. 

While the local specialist mental health and addiction services will work closely with the hubs, it is not expected that they will be based within the hubs full time. Further work needs to be completed on linkages and pathways across these systems. 

What are the timeframes for the proposed changes? 

We hope to start making some of the changes in early 2023.  However, we need to complete the feedback and consultation process first. The timeline is: 

  • January 2023 Sharing the concept with stakeholders and seek feedback 

  • February-March 2023 collate feedback from stakeholders including face to face/Zoom meetings and via Survey Monkey 

  • March 2023 Share proposal for changes with staff and stakeholders, with implementation plan and details 

We plan to finish consultation by February 2023 and have an updated paper with more detail and the final decision on implementation by March 2023. The full implementation will take about 12 months; however, this timeframe is not final and will be open to change. 

I missed the deadline for giving feedback, is it too late?  

No, you are not too late! This is a concept paper only, and there will be more opportunities to contribute to the next stage, which is the more detailed implementation plan. In the meantime, please continue to send your feedback to mhachange@ccdhb.org.nz

I don’t think this concept goes far enough, what can I do? 

We have taken what you have said so far and tried to capture this in the concept design.  As we are only in the concept phase, there is time to tell us what you think. This is your opportunity to give feedback and offer ideas about things that we might have missed. 

Fill in our feedback form by 10 February, or email feedback to mhachange@ccdhb.org.nz

Will the changes require me to change the focus of my role? 

For some kaimahi, yes there are likely to be changes to your focus. Any changes will be explored with you once the proposal moves from concept to proposal.  We are committed to working with staff who are identified as being affected/impacted once the proposal is finalised.  

Are any jobs at risk as part of these changes? 

No, it is not envisioned that staff will lose their jobs. The changes being implemented aim to increase the capacity of our system by using the available resources of people and funding in better ways. We also want to provide the opportunity for staff to specialise in certain areas (e.g., advanced therapies) and work at the top of their scope. 

Will I need to reapply for my job? 

At this stage no, however we will be working closely with staff, the unions and HR to support staff identified as affected or whose roles are significantly changed to ensure that we follow a clear and supportive process. We are acutely aware of the significant workforce shortages and do not want to add to this. 

Will I need to re-locate? 

For some staff there may be changes in where your work base is located. For many this may be a positive change, and for others the highly mobile nature of the proposed new service delivery model will have some appeal. Throughout the process we will work with all stakeholders to minimise any impacts on you and your role, but at the same time ensuring we improve the system for people with mental health and addiction needs. 

How will this impact sector staff? Will I have to work in a different location? 

At this stage, the proposed changes are conceptual only. We will be consulting on a more detailed plan next year, which will take into account feedback gathered in this round. This includes details such as changes to jobs.  

Throughout the process we will work with all stakeholders to minimise any impacts on you and your role, but at the same time ensuring we improve the system for people with mental health and addiction needs. 

How will my care change? Will I be able to access services in different locations?  

At this stage, the proposed changes are conceptual only. We will be consulting on a more detailed plan next year, which will take into account feedback gathered in this round. This level of detail has therefore not yet been worked through. 

However, in general, we aim to offer people more flexibility about care they receive, and so there will likely be more location options for people around where care is delivered. 

Last updated 16 January 2023.