Improvements in mental health service

The Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society is very pleased to hear about the Gibraltar Government's most recent improvements to the mental health service, as explained in their latest PR on the matter: "The latest service initiative has been the introduction of a nurse-led liaison service, operating 7 days a week from 08.00 to 20.00. A Nurse Liaison, based at Ocean Views, will now be available to provide assessments, support and reassurance to both service users and their families in times of need. This improved access means that not all services users will need to attend the Accident & Emergency at St Bernard’s Hospital. " 

This new service will most definitely provide much needed support to service users and their families who have often complained to the GMWS about the previous set up and on whose behalf the Society has been campaigning on this issue for quite a while. The Society believes that service users undergoing a crisis will be much more effectively served with these new procedures

During its most recent meeting with Minister Costa, the Society was assured that a range of enhancements to the mental health provision has resulted in a more flexible, effective service throughout.

The Society was also informed that the enhancements to the Coaling Island Mental Health Facility have been started. There will be a proper reception area, attended by a receptionist, and this will make the facility more user friendly, particular for those visiting the place for the first time.

Another important element being introduced, which will be essential to an evaluation of the services provided is a data base -something which has not been available previously. Mental Health professionals will be gathering and collating relevant information which will allow for a proper assessment of how well the system is in fact working, and which will allow for further improvements where necessary.

Regarding the matter of supported accommodation, the Society was informed that in the near future there will be more information on enhancements in this area. We look forward to seeing what further progress has been made in this sphere. We did make the point that if supported accommodation was to work well, there would need to be an increase in the outreach team.

The GMWS recognises the many significant steps which have been taken in the last few years, to improve mental health provision. Ultimately, as regards to evaluating the effectiveness of the system the Society looks to getting feedback from service users and their families to determine how smoothly things are actually running. The Society considers that like any other field in the health service- and more so in the case of mental health which has historically suffered from considerable neglect - the service will need continued investment in order to further evolve and improve. We will continue to monitor the improvements made in the system and campaign on those objectives which have still not been met.