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Save Ballarat CCU

The Victorian Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, has announced the closure of Ballarat's only Continuing Care Unit (CCU), Eastern View.

CCUs provide 24-hour clinical care and residential rehabilitation for people living with severe mental illnesses, co-morbid issues and other disabilities. CCUs are critically important facilities staffed by highly skilled clinicians who support people with complex illnesses and there are no other community treatment options like it. Their role is to aid consumers who take a longer period of time to recover. 

CCUs play a critical role in the mental health system CCUs can be used to facilitate the rehabilitation of people transitioning to the community from forensic and other secure treatment facilities, where beds and services are at a premium. Removing this service with no plan in place is just another poor example of the Victorian government’s approach to mental health services. 

Who are the people who use the CCU service?

Continuing care units provide support for people who need long-term rehabilitation. Clients are referred by a psychiatrist and many are on community treatment orders. These patients need long term (at least several months) of support, so beds in acute units are not suitable. but, are not well enough to live on their own. Many of these people live with a dual diagnosis of severe and persistent mental illness, disabilities, and alcohol and other drug dependencies.

The mental health clinicians who work in the CCU are trained to help rehabilitate mentally unwell people to self-manage their lives within the community. Many of the clinicians are highly experienced psychiatric nurses, psychologists and other allied health professionals. Without the CCU, the patients it is likely will end up on the streets. 

Why has the Government announced the closure?

The Government has announced that the current location of the CCU will be repurposed to become a drug and alcohol facility. The Government has also announced that a Prevention And Recovery Care (PARC) service will be built in 2019 in Ballarat. Neither of these services provide long term residential support and neither have the clinical staffing profiles that are provided in a CCU.

HACSU are not opposed to reviewing the model of care. However, Martin Foley must consult with the staff and consumers, not just announce a closure!

Why is a continuing care unit important for the Ballarat community?

Eastern view is a 20-bed unit which provides CCUs provide 24-hour clinical care and residential rehabilitation for people living with severe and persistent mental illnesses and associated psycho-social disabilities. CCUs are critically important facilities staffed by highly skilled clinicians who support people with complex illnesses and there are no other community treatment options like it. Their role is to aid consumers who take a longer period of time to recover.

The Eastern View CCU services the entire Grampian region. When this service is closed there will be no clinical community mental health services outside of Ballarat, this include major regional areas such as Stawell and Horsham.

 

 

     

Latest News

2017-05-25

Last weekend, at the Australian Labor Party State Conference, HACSU called on the State Government to uphold the commitments made in the 2014 Victorian ALP Platform and immediately suspend the closure of the Eastern View, Ballarat Community Care Unit.

READ MORE...
JOIN THE MAILING LIST HERE!

Contact Ballarat Local Members of Parliament to discuss this important issue

Sharon Knight, Member for Wendouree:          

Phone:  (03) 5331 1003  Email:   Sharon.Knight@parliament.vic.gov.au  

  Electorate Office:  17 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat VIC 3350

Geoff Howard, Member for Buninyong:                  

Phone: (03) 5331 7722   Email:  geoff.howard@parliament.vic.gov.au                              

Electorate Office:  15 Main Road Ballarat 3350

Jaala Pulford, State Member for Western Victoria:

Phone:  (03) 5332 2405   Email:  jaala.pulford@parliament.vic.gov.au                                

Electorate Office:  Ground floor, 15 Main Road Ballarat, VIC 3350

Campaign contacts

HACSU contact: Michael Stone, michaels@hacsu.asn.au

Media contact: Elizabeth Doidge, elizabethd@hacsu.asn.au,  0417 549 666 

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PETITION

TO SAVE OUR

CCU HERE!

Write to the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, here:

Dear Minister Foley,

I am writing to you regarding your recent announcement of the closure of the Eastern View Continuing Care Unit (CCU), the only CCU in the Grampians region.

The closure of this facility has been announced before any direct consultation with clinical staff, Eastern View consumers or the community. This is dangerous decision, and a dangerous method in the way you have approached this announcement.

CCUs are a rehab service which provide 24-hour clinical care and residential rehabilitation for people living with severe mental illnesses, co-morbid issues and other disabilities. CCUs are critically important facilities staffed by highly skilled clinicians who support people with complex illnesses and there are no other community treatment options like it.

I note you have announced that you will build a Prevention and Recovery Centre as well as a Drug and Alcohol Service in Ballarat. Although I welcome this decision, neither service will provide the services needed for users of the CCU.

CCUs play a critical role in the mental health system. Ballarat will be the only major regional city without any long-term rehabilitation facilities, cities such as Geelong, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Traralgon and Albury/Wodonga all have both a CCU and PARC service.

Closing the CCU will mean Ballarat will lose 20 important clinical community beds, at a time when the NDIS is closing community services and the special residential services (SRS’s) have proven to be ineffective.

I urge you to enter into negotiations to see that the important service offered by the CCU remain an option in the Ballarat community.