You might have heard about the new Alcohol and Other Drugs Hubs planned in Emergency Departments across the State. Thanks to the continued activism of HACSU members, we’ll soon see six of these hubs open, ready to provide specialist care and treatment through a lens of dual diagnosis.
The AOD hubs are designed to enhance emergency department responses to people who present with drug and alcohol use and mental health issues. The hubs will provide a more efficient pathway for consumers accessing what is already an overflowing emergency department system, whilst ensuring support is provided from specialist mental health clinicians. HACSU members are enthusiastic about these new hubs after years of lobbying for a solution to these issues faced by staff and consumers waiting hours in emergency departments.
HACSU officials have heard that a metropolitan hospital reported in one year over 3000 presentations relating to mental health, close to 650 presentations relating to AOD and over 2200 presentations relating to dual diagnoses.
St Vincent’s Hospital is the first working towards opening their AOD hub and we’ve heard that it should be scheduled to open imminently. This is a great win for HACSU members who have campaigned for years for a better response to dual diagnosis presentations to emergency departments.
The hubs, including the one ready to open at St Vincent’s Hospital will be staffed by specialist mental health clinicians, as well as consumer and carer peer workers. By providing a multi-disciplinary response to people presenting with these types of complex issues, the best approach to treatment can be taken from the beginning. Rather than triaging through a general health setting first, which we already know is not effective, consumers needing dual diagnosis support and treatment can access this right away.
We know that other hospitals are awaiting construction of additional bespoke facilities or addressing issues with placement of hubs within existing facilities. Nevertheless, we’re keen to see the hub at St Vincent’s Hospital open soon and await news the progress of the other five hubs.
The hubs will provide these consumers with their own therapeutic environment, outside the often-frenzied space of the general ED, with targeted, specialised care and expertise.
Congratulations to all HACSU members involved in campaigning for this important change to emergency mental health and AOD care!