Partners in Recovery
This National program is targeted at better coordination between services such as medical care, housing, income support, employment, education and rehabilitation services that support people with mental health and complex needs.
The 2011/12 Federal Budget provided $549.8 million (over five years from 2011/12 to 2015/16) for the Partners in Recovery (PIR): Coordinated Support and Flexible Funding for People with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness with Complex initiative
PIR organisations will be established in each of the 61 Medicare Local areas across the country, including 17 in NSW. PIRs will employ support facilitators whose role it is to bring some coherence to what is currently a pretty fragmented service system. PIR organisations will work at a systems level and be the mechanism to drive collaboration between relevant sectors, services and supports within the region to ensure that all relevant needs of people in the target group are identified and met.
The ‘Partners in Recovery’ Initiative specifically aims to:
- Better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs, and their carers and families;
- Facilitate better coordination of clinical and non-clinical services to deliver ‘wrap around’ support to meet the full range of an individual’s needs;
- Improve referral pathways and strengthen partnerships with existing services;
- Further embed a community based recovery model of support and service delivery throughout the mental health and related sectors; and
- Adopt a ‘no wrong door’ approach to service access and referral.
More information about the Initiative is available here.
PIR Lead Organisations Announced
Successful tenders for stage one of the $550 million Partners in Recovery program was announced in June 2013. 48 of the 61 Medicare Local regions were successful in the first round of applications to rollout the PIR program. The Department of Health and Ageing will work with the 13 remaining regions to ensure their readiness over the coming months. Lead agency status for PIR tenders was determined by consensus view of the consortia members participating in Medicare Local regional bids.
10 community organisations were engaged nationally and 5 in NSW to roll out PIR.
A full list of organisations, by state/territory, engaged to roll out PIR including organisations in each consortia is available here.
Training for PIR Staff – ‘Navigating Support Facilitation’
Since July 2013 MHCC Learning and Development has been involved in the development of the specialist training package for the newly recruited Partners in Recovery workforce. Developed in conjunction with key PIR stakeholders including mental health consumers and carers, this training provides in-depth understanding of the context and practical skills and tools required to produce real outcomes in flexible ways. This two day workshop is suitable for individuals working in the PIR initiative including: PIR Support Facilitators, Team Leaders and Managers.
Shaping the Partners in Recovery Workforce
MHCC has undertaken substantial work since 2011 to better understand the practice skills required for effective care and service coordination. This work was based on consultation with consumers, carers and service providers to close an identified knowledge gap regarding service coordination as a recovery oriented practice skill set. On the basis of this work, MHCC undertook an analysis of the Support Facilitator (SF) role against existing literature and feedback from consumers, carers and service providers. In partnership with the PIR Organisations Navigating Support Facilitationis now being rolled out around NSW.
August 2013 – Industry Focus Group Meeting
MHCC invited representatives from PIR organisations and consumer and carer representatives from ARAFMI and NSW CAG to participate in an industry focus group meeting with a vision to create training directly related to the work of PIR SF’s. This meeting enabled a draft induction package framework to be developed for SF’s based on MHCC’s previous research, and the needs analysis which identified key competencies within the SF role.
October 2013 – Partners in Recovery CEO and Executive Members Meeting
This meeting aimed to encourage a transparent and collaborative process in the height of negotiations around PIR consortiums and lead organisations. A brief overview of Medicare Local (ML) perspectives was presented based on informal conversations with each of the seventeen MLs on the perceived progress and challenges in each region. A key message involved the need for a collaborative process and shared decision making to achieve successful outcomes. Discussion also focussed around different types of service delivery models, support facilitator job descriptions and required skill sets, and criteria to assist in the selection of a lead organisation. Stemming from this meeting came about general agreement of a preferred subcontracting model for PIR which can be viewed here.