Neami National CEO Arthur Papakotsias has announced changes to services in South Australia as a result of recent state funding decisions.
The first change comes as a result of the re-tendering of the Individual Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Support Services (IPRSS), which is South Australia’s major community mental health support program. IPRSS supports mental health recovery, independence and community connections.
Neami will continue to provide IPRSS in North Adelaide and Southern SA and, in addition, will establish new services in Central SA. However, Neami was not successful in retaining funding in Central Adelaide. These changes have been in effect since 1 April 2015.
The second change is the discontinuation of funding to the Intensive Home Based Support Service (IHBSS) pilot program, which provided up to three-months of sub-acute outreach support with the aims of reducing hospital admissions and enabling positive transitions from hospital back into the community.
An evaluation from the University of NSW found an average reduction in hospital bed days from 16 to 6 for people supported by IHBSS, translating to a multi-million dollar saving to the public health system. IHBSS will cease operation on 30 June 2015.
Mr Papakotsias said that changes to services as a result of funding and policy changes are an inevitable part of a community sector driven by changing government priorities, budget pressure and a greater focus on competition between community providers.
‘Neami National has grown significantly in South Australia over the last decade and we will continue giving people choice and control in the support they receive, using their personal values, strengths and life goals as the basis for recovery.
'We will continue to focus on evidence-based approaches and innovation aimed at improved health, greater independence and stronger social connection within local communities.’
‘While we are disappointed to see innovative pilots like IHBSS discontinued and services reduced under IPRSS, we remain actively involved in creating new services like the Crisis Respite Service and look forward to new opportunities in regional South Australia and through existing programs like Housing and Accommodation Support Partnership (HASP).
'We are very optimistic aboud future opportunities to support the improved health and wellbeing of South Australians.'