Mental Health Liaison Officer 0807

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					Townsville General Practice Network

                        Position Description and Statement of Duties

Position Title:                         Mental Health Liaison Officer (MHLO)
Term of contract:                       12 Months
Salary package:                         To be negotiated
Date prepared:                          21/08/2007
Date last reviewed:
Prepared by:                            Dr Lesley Stainkey/Carol Nolan
Position reports to:                    GPLO
Position responsible to:                Chief Executive Office
Passed at IMH meeting

Purpose of Position

This role aims to enhance and increase the participation of GPs in the provision of
Primary Mental Health Care.
a)         Develop and maintain systems that engage and support GPs in order to achieve
           greater collaboration between GPs and Townsville Integrated Mental Health
b)         Provide advocacy and support for mental health clients so integration of services
           between general practice, community support services and integrated mental
           health services occurs in an efficient and professional manner.

The Integrated Mental Health Meeting membership will provide input into the goals,
outcomes and activities of the MHLO.
Funding for the MHLO is through the Partners in Mind Initiative. Townsville General
Practice Network (TGPN) is contracted to General Practice Queensland to implement
activities to comply with this initiative.
The position is accountable to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TGPN via the Chair
of the Integrated Mental Health meeting membership who is the TDGP General Practice
Liaison Officer (GPLO).

There is substantial evidence of the current role of primary care in the early identification
and treatment of mental disorders in acute and continuous care. Mental illness is
common and often disabling. Nearly 18% of the Australian population suffers from
mental illness in any one year. There is a serious undersupply and misdistribution of
psychiatrists & GPs in both urban and rural areas of Australia. A high proportion of those
with a mental disorder who seek treatment (77%) go to a GP.
In addition, TGPN is attempting to maximise usage of “Better Access to Mental Health
and Better Outcomes in Mental Health” options through the following mechanisms.
1.         Educating GPs on the requirements of completing GP Mental Health Plans to
           optimise the community’s ability to obtain Medicare supported psychological

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2.         Continued provision of psychological services via the Access to Allied
           Psychological Services (ATAPS) scheme for the financially disadvantaged.
3.         Increasing the uptake of psychiatric assessment of new patient services.
4.         Increasing GP uptake of the Mental Health Nurse Initiative.

Selection Criteria
     •     Tertiary qualifications in health, behavioural or social sciences.
     •     Previous experience in consultation and liaison with GPs, or Area Health Service
           staff, or Division of General Practice, or consumers and other stakeholders.
     •     Sound program management, delivery and evaluation experience.
     •     Clinical experience in the Mental Health field.
     •     Experience in working independently and as a team member.
     •     High level of written and verbal communication skills.
     •     Conflict resolution skills.
     •     Time management skills.
     •     Well developed computer skills.
     •     Current Driver’s Licence.
     •     Understanding of current issues in relation to health care delivery.
     •     Ability to work across a number of different and changing areas of activity.
     •     Experience in process improvement/quality assurance.

Key Roles
     •     To promote a collaborative approach/partnership between mental health services
           and general practice.
     •     Development of clinical pathways for mental health treatment in primary care.
     •     Improve access to mental health services for GPs and improve access to GP
           services for mental health services.
     •     Reporting – development of audit tools and outcome measures based on general
           practice and consumer satisfaction.
     •     Reporting – establishment, review and maintenance of a data collection system
           to record contact with general practitioners.
     •     To facilitate shared care between the mental health services and GPs. In
           particular the proposal of GP participation in Discharge Case Conference item
           768, 771 & 773, or set up of GP organised Case Conference items 740, 742 &
     •     Liaise with community mental health case managers to identify existing clients
           who are eligible for shared-care.

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Townsville General Practice Network

     •     Monitor and evaluate the shared care process and develop solution focussed
           approach to identified issues which may impede the share care process.
Continuous Quality Improvement:
                •     Exhibit a commitment to quality service and to participate in activities to
                      enhance continuous quality improvement.
                •     Monitor and assess work procedures and where appropriate, make
                      recommendations so that quality improvements to procedures can be
                      made in the workplace.
Professional Role and Development:
     •     Comply with MHS Policies and Procedures.
     •     Comply with the mandatory education program of the MHS.
     •     Participate in formal and informal education programs.
     •     Demonstrate active development of own education and skills.
     •     Comply with the profession’s Code of Ethics.
     •     Function in accordance with legislation affecting profession’s practice.
     •     Act to promote safe professional practice and conduct.
     •     Use and promote effective communication and interpersonal skills.
     •     Participate in annual performance review process for own professional and
           personal development and to identify relevant education needs.
Customer Focus:
     •     Provide a service that is courteous, friendly, supportive and professional.
     •     Act as GP advocate to assist individuals to make informed decisions.
     •     Maintain client confidentiality at all times.
     •     Display a non-judgmental approach, treating clients with respect and dignity.
     •     To adhere to the principles of confidentiality and at all times, treat with the
           strictest confidence, information relating to patients.
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S):
     •     Be aware of and comply with the OH&S guidelines as per the Area Risk
           Management Policy. Ensure compliance with all policies, programs, procedures
           and statutory requirements in relation to OH&S.
     •     Be aware of and comply with the Townsville Department of Health policy on non-
           smoking, which prohibits staff, patients and visitors from smoking within and
           outside hospital grounds or within hospital vehicles.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO):
     •     Be aware of the Area EEO Policy to work in accordance with the principles of

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Description: Mental Health Liaison Officer 0807