Patients are RHU’s Clients. The focus of the reforms in RHU is to move to client centred service delivery. The introduction of an individualised client package is being viewed as a key mechanism to drive these reforms. However, client centered service delivery is a lot more than individualised packages. It is about patients being able to drive the types and intensity of services they receive, with services defined by patient identified needs not what a service does or can delivery. It links the client to their community and their environment, including their family.

While many services would say they are already focussed on the patient, client centred service delivery is a fundamentally different way of thinking and operating and requires change across the whole of the organisation. Patients and carers also need support so that they understand and can realise the benefits of control and choice. The RHU reforms are not giving control of the Patient package budget to the client; however, the reforms can be seen as a stepping-stone to this as the sector moves to digital healthcare services.

Information and Tools to help us improve client centered services

Goal Directed Care Planning Tool Kit
A simple step by step guide developed (and tested) by HACC services in the Department of Health, Eastern Metropolitan Region to create an individual plan to move the organisation towards client centred practice.

Paths to Personalisation in Mental Health
A very comprehensive UK guide to assist organisations identify the things that need to be done differently to make personalisation a reality for people with mental health needs. It incorporates a recovery focus and includes links to other useful information and resources.

Further reading
Individualised funding – A Summary Review of its nature and imapcts and key elements for success A project undertaken by the Julia Farr Assocation in South Australia. It is a reasonably straightforward review providing background, the guiding philosophies (and what this means for traditional service models) as well as practical information. May be useful for understanding the cultural and value shifts required in your workforce.

Western Australia Department of Health – Mental Health 2020 Making it Personal and Everybody’s Business
The WA Government’s policy framework which outlines the move to individualised funding. There are also two draft policy framework which may be useful:
Draft Accountability Framework – is designed to help stakeholders, particularly service providers, adhere to the guiding principles of individualised support and funding initiatives. It also outlines the minimum expectations of good practice and mechanisms that service providers should have in place for individuals, families and carers to raise concerns and provide feedback.

Draft Safeguards Framework – has been developed to provide guidance on the inclusion of appropriate safeguards in people’s individualised plans, which outline what supports and services people receive and how these are delivered. The draft framework also emphasises informal intentional safeguards, which can be central to an individual’s ongoing enjoyment of good health and wellbeing and contribute to ensuring their safety, care and treatment.

Report for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia – To Investigate the policy and practice of self-directed support for people with a mental illness, Theresa Williams, 2012

Comprehensive summary of policy and practices overseas, with insights into the challenges of providing client centred services.