Toronto Private Hospital increases mental health services capacity

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The NSW hospital has introduced a number of mental health services to provide the local community with a variety of options to suit their lifestyles and mental health needs

A critical shortage of psychiatrists in the NSW Hunter region has created demand for more mental health services and innovative ways to provide them. Toronto Private Hospital, located in Toronto on Lake Macquarie NSW, has introduced a number of mental health services to provide the local community with a variety of options to suit their lifestyles and mental health needs.

Originally, local residents had limited options when considering mental health inpatient treatment  When Lingard Private Hospital, located in Newcastle, introduced a cardiac ward, their large mental health unit, known as the Woodlands Ward and their out patient programs, needed a new home. Lingard and Toronto Private collaborated with local mental health specialists and their own psychiatric team, leading to the conclusion that in the best interest of the community, the services would be relocated to Toronto Private in October 2013. A $2 million redevelopment project ensured that the new Woodlands Ward would provide patients with a modern, spacious and tranquil facility.

With 25 beds, the voluntary Woodlands Ward is run by specialist psychiatrists, Dr Allan White, Dr Catherine Faehrmann, Dr Ian Fowler and Dr Cynthia Parker, who have developed a variety of well researched therapeutic programs, groups and activities, based on best practice principals

Chief Executive Officer at Toronto Private Hospital, Mr Andrew Mereau says, “Mental illness continues to cause considerable distress and disability for individuals, impacting on the entire community. Toronto Private Hospital has been working collaboratively with local psychiatrists and mental health organisations to ensure our services are meeting local needs.

“The opening of the inpatient mental health and day therapy units have provided increased capacity and access for patients in the Hunter,” said Mereau.

Now with 25 beds, the voluntary Woodlands Ward is run by specialist psychiatrists, Dr Allan White, Dr Catherine Faehrmann, Dr Ian Fowler and Dr Cynthia Parker, who have developed a variety of well researched therapeutic programs, groups and activities, based on best practice principals.

Toronto Private Hospital has recently commenced a new service for patients, suffering from treatment resistant anxiety and depression – the Mood and Anxiety Assessment Program.

“The program has been established to support general practitioners by providing a comprehensive clinical assessment service for patients with acute or chronic mood and/or anxiety disorders. General practitioners can refer patients with mood or anxiety symptoms where initial treatment has been unsuccessful or hampered by complicating factors,” said Mereau.

“The combination of our services is another step towards ensuring that the Hunter community gets the best possible care from a well trained and appropriately resourced mental health unit,” said Mereau.

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