Helping hand now at home

The State Government will launch Hospital in the Home (HITH) tomorrow with eight participants and expand it to 24 participants in the coming months.

The Graylands HITH multidisciplinary team will support individuals and carers with daily home visits to monitor treatment and progress.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the service would provide a contemporary and safe alternative for patients who would normally require inpatient admission.

‘With intensive management, assessment and treatment provided in the home, Graylands HITH enables patients to maintain as much of their normal routine as possible during a period of acute illness,’ Mrs Morton said.

Ms Colvin said HITH was one of many interim changes being made while the Government contemplated the hospital’s long-term future in developing the 10-year mental health services plan.

‘At the moment you’ve got people stuck on these wards costing a lot of money, sometimes up to $1100 a day, when they could be in the community,’ she said.

‘The Murchison ward has up to 42 rooms; can you imagine living with up to 42 people while coping with mental illness?’

Colleen Manley (60), who has had bipolar for 20 years, said she benefited from the four-bed HITH service at Sir Charlies Gairdner Hospital last year.

‘When you stay in hospital you often feel very alone and it is very disruptive and difficult to get back into a routine,’ she said.

‘This was a much better experience because I got to stay in my own bed.’