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Help closer to home: nurse navigators support people with complex mental health needs

26 February 2020

People with complex physical and mental health needs will receive care delivered sooner and closer to home thanks to four new Addiction and Mental Health Services nurse navigator roles.

The Nurse Navigator role is underpinned by the principles of delivering coordinated and patient-centred care, creating partnerships across different health providers and sectors, improving patient outcomes and enabling improvements across the system.

Addiction and Mental Health Services Director of Nursing Liz Powell said new nurse navigators would provide specialist and coordinated care, in a community setting, for people living with complex health concerns.

“On top of mental health concerns, consumers often face chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems and need to access multiple supports and points of care," she said.

“Our nurses will see people at their local GP clinic and in the community.

“It is much more beneficial for long-term health outcomes if people can stay out of hospital and receive the healthcare they need closer to home.”

Nurse Navigators Rosemary Sorrensen and Rachael James will provide outreach to the community from Logan Hospital.

“Our roles will help people navigate what can be a complex health system, especially focusing on people with two or more chronic medical conditions in addition to a mental health condition,” they said.

“We will bring together GPs, health specialists and NGOs to develop tailored care plans for their patients.

Rosie and Rachel said the role would help consumers and GPs have a better understanding of how the hospital and the various health care professionals can help support them.

“For some people, simple things like attending appointments can stop consumers meeting their goals and assistance in looking at options to connect can help.

“It could mean helping remove barriers that stop them receiving appropriate care, by helping them to engage with both mental health and other health services.

“We can also help people address issues like low motivation or in some cases, cognitive impairment.”

Nurse Navigators Clare Gamble and Emma Scott are based at Woolloongabba and cover the Princess Alexandra Hospital areas.

They said the role of nurse navigators would help to integrate care for their patient’s mental and physical health across specialties and providers.

“This role is an opportunity to help patients establish holistic care arrangements which is important for mental health as all areas of health and wellbeing effect mental health”.

“We will also be working with consumers to help develop their health literacy and empower them to self-manage their conditions, thus improving their quality of life.”

Last updated 26 February 2020
Last reviewed 19 July 2019

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