Shoalhaven Hospital’s sub-acute mental health ward to be used temporarily as special health accommodation as part of COVID plans | The South Coast Register

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As part of Shoalhaven Hospital’s COVID-19 planning, the Sub Acute Mental Health Care Unit will be temporarily used as Special Health Accommodation (SHA). The decision enables the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) to increase Acute Community Teams. SHA is for COVID-positive patients who need a little care and support but do not require higher-level care and is also for members of society whose living arrangements make it difficult for them to isolate themselves at home. Read more: The Sub Acute Mental Health Care Unit supports those in Illawarra and Shoalhaven who seek help for a mental illness and need short-term support to avoid hospitalization after a psychiatric hospital stay. The unit has 20 beds. ISLHD CEO Margot Mains said the emergency mental health services remain in place and have not been affected by COVID. “Shoalhaven Hospital’s Department of Acute Mental Health Care will be temporarily used as special health accommodation as part of our COVID-19 management,” Ms. Mains said. “We are also consulting with private psychiatric facilities to increase capacity if necessary as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” There are two COVID-19 positive patients being treated at Shoalhaven Hospital. Read more: How prepared is Shoalhaven Hospital for COVID-19? The Mains also confirmed that there is a comprehensive surge plan in place for Shoalhaven Hospital, which has been under development since the start of the pandemic. “For Shoalhaven Hospital, a dedicated COVID ICU ward and a dedicated medical respiratory COVID ward have been set up to serve the potential needs of the community,” Ms. Mains said. “The district has increased the capacity of our local teams to ensure that care can be provided to people who need support in their homes through virtual care, or face to face where necessary and safe to do so.” Mains also confirmed that ISLHD has established a number of additional mental health support services, including: disaster recovery coordinators, a dedicated disaster recovery clinic in Shoalhaven, increased clinical staff in community psychiatric teams, hiring additional colleagues and more. We rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, you can subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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