Monday, 18 September 2017
Vlahos’ last act: finally, a policy on borderline personality disorder
Regular readers will be familiar with the extreme struggle faced by South Australian carers for sufferers of BPD to get appropriate treatment for their loved ones.
It remains unclear where the clinicians will be posted or what, exactly, they will be asked to do.
Also conspicuously absent from the policy is a centre for excellence in BPD treatment, modelled on successful facilities in Victoria and New South Wales – which was a key recommendation of the action plan and which carers and advocates have been demanding for years.
However, InDaily understands the Government believes it can provide better accessibility for treatment multiple locations rather than one.
There is also no mention of BPD training for police officers and paramedics in the statement given to InDaily concerning the policy – and we have yet to hear from SA Health as to whether they will be included in the training.
Asked for more detail on the policy, an SA Health spokesperson told InDaily the funding would be used to “design and develop the borderline personality disorder service and provide staff across the health system with training in appropriately treating BPD”.
“Experts will be engaged by SA Health to scope the service and develop an integrated model of care that works seamlessly with community mental health services, and to ensure that services are delivered across South Australian where there is the greatest clinical need,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re very pleased that there’s a beginning … (but) a little disappointed that there isn’t more focus on improved treatment now.
“This can only happen through better training of mental health professionals, improved community awareness and access to evidence-based therapies without two year waiting lists.”
Over the weekend, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall pledged $10 million for for a BPD centre for excellence – if the Liberal Party wins the state election next March.
According to a spokesperson for Vlahos, the Government’s new policy aims to achieve fewer emergency department presentations, reduced hospital admissions and less time in hospital for BPD sufferers, as well as reduced rates of substance abuse, self-harm, suicide and restraint.
The Government says the policy will also be measured against rates of recovery and relapse for BPD sufferers and to what degree it lowers “health and social costs” of the condition.