An expert advisory panel including clinicians, veteran representatives, consumers and carers has recommended Glenside Health Service Campus as the site for the new $15 million veteran mental health precinct including the Centre for Excellence for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Health Minister Jack Snelling said the panel assessed a number of locations based on specific criteria, before recommending Glenside Health Service Campus as the best location for veteran mental health services in South Australia.
“In February, as part of Transforming Health, we announced $15 million to establish a new state-of-the-art Centre for Excellence for our veterans to replace the ageing facility currently located at the Repatriation General Hospital,” Mr Snelling said.
“Glenside Health Service Campus is centrally located, can provide a private environment and has car parking, public transport links and access to recreational, community and garden spaces as well as other inpatient care provided on site.”
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said providing the best care possible for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress was the most important factor in choosing a site for the new Centre for Excellence.
“The staff at the existing Ward 17 at the Repat do a fantastic job looking after our veterans but as a Government we know we can do more to support those workers with new facilities and our veterans with state-of-the-art care,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The new facility will provide world-class infrastructure that embraces innovation, takes full advantage of technology and medical advances and is flexible to meet the challenges of the future”.
The Veterans’ PTSD Centre for Excellence Expert Advisory Panel was established in March 2015 to recommend an appropriate location for the facility and propose a model of care for veterans’ mental health services.
Panel Co-Chair and Veteran Associate Professor Susan Neuhaus said the group considered all relevant options to develop a model that would deliver high-quality mental health care for veterans now, and into the future.
“Having developed that model, the panel assessed a number of potential sites against their ability to support the essential veteran mental health care requirements,” Associate Professor Neuhaus said.
“Glenside Health Services Campus met these requirements, but also offers opportunities to build upon the expertise, dedication, culture and traditions of existing Ward 17 services, and bring together clinical leaders, academic researchers and veteran support groups”.
“The site will also allow us to explore partnerships with Commonwealth and Non-Government organisations such as the Returned and Services League (RSL) and Soldier On, to develop a one-stop-shop for veterans”.
Chris Burns, Chair of the Veterans Health Advisory Council and veteran’s representative on the Expert Panel is looking forward to the new state-of-the-art facility which will be purpose-built for veterans.
“Part of our national identity is formed around the courage and sacrifice of those who have served our nation and many continue to carry unseen wounds and mental health consequences,” Mr Burns said.
“While Ward 17 has served veterans well over the years, the new facility at Glenside will be able to serve the needs of current and future veterans for many years to come”.
A portion of the Glenside Health Service Campus will be dedicated to veterans’ mental health service. It will also be renamed and have a separate access point to the main campus to provide a distinct area for veterans.
Work will now take place to develop the governance and workforce models for the new service in consultation with staff.