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Towards reform: looking at how to provide effective care

We are proud to announce that First Step has been appointed as lead agency for the Victorian Department of Health Integrated Care Capability Pilot. This pilot will test the implementation of a Comprehensive Continuous Integrated System of Care (CCISC) across 10 organisations in greater Melbourne.

What are the implications of this?

For us at First Step, it means progress. Perhaps even better, it means hope.

That might sound dramatic, but for the 100,000+ people in Victoria each year that desperately seek treatment for complex mental health and addiction issues, this pilot is the first small step towards reform and improvement, in a system that has long struggled to provide effective care. The pilot extensively references findings from the recent Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System in its design – a very welcome sign of change.

The CCISC Pilot provides a framework with which to examine what happens each time our organisation(s) come in contact with a client, and then explores ways to improve each of those interactions. It draw’s deeply on the experience of people that currently use, or have used, ‘the system’.

That’s exciting because it means we have a better chance of providing services that truly meet the needs of people in our care. Services that foster a sense of hope for the future, and then actually deliver.

It is a collaboration of 10 organisations who will individually and collectively work through the challenges of this process, supported by the Department of Health and several significant industry experts. It represents an opportunity to streamline the way our services communicate with each other, reducing the risk of people ‘falling through the gaps’. If done right, it represents an immense opportunity to leverage the expertise of each other for our own organisational growth, specifically for the benefit of the people in our care.

This is a principle that we employ at First Step every moment of every day. We know how powerful it is when you get committed people collaborating on a challenging issue. Good things happen. Are we excited by the chance to employ that at an organisational level? Absolutely!

The very nature of a pilot is exploratory, and this one is no different. The pilot will commence in earnest in the coming weeks. There is much to learn and so we are gearing up.

For our clients, change can’t come soon enough.


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