Hospitalised for 19 years — Regency Green gave them independence

Posted 6 months ago by David McManus
Minister for Health and Well-being Chirs Picton MP [left], Minister for Human Services Nat Cook MP [right] and Community Living Options CEO Mel Kubisa [centre] cut the commemorative cake on Friday morning. [Source: Disability Support Guide]
Minister for Health and Well-being Chirs Picton MP [left], Minister for Human Services Nat Cook MP [right] and Community Living Options CEO Mel Kubisa [centre] cut the commemorative cake on Friday morning. [Source: Disability Support Guide]

Ministers celebrated the independent living pilot amid the continued ramping crisis in SA

Key points:

  • The CLO Regency Green — Positive Futures project was commissioned to help solve the ‘bed block’ issue in SA Hospitals
  • Throughout its first 12 months, it helped save 5,042 hospital bed days
  • Ministers Chris Picton and Nat Cook expressed their support for the continued funding of the project

 

Ministers descended on CLO’s Regency Green facility on September 15 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of an initiative to ease the transition from hospital to independent living for people with disability.

Over the past year, Regency Green has transitioned 42 participants to their long-term housing placements. The average stay at Regency Green stands at 97.74 days, underscoring the efficiency and efficacy of the project’s approach, according to event attendees.

 

Talking Disability journalist spoke to Minister Pictor about the impact of systemic ‘bed block,’ which the project was designed to address amid the continued ramping crisis facing South Australian hospitals.

“One of the key issues in our healthcare system is our blockages in terms of, y’know, people’s journey through the hospital and ultimately getting to care out of hospital,” Minister Picton explained.

Although Government data from SA Health reported improved response times from paramedics, the transfer of care delays — ‘ramping’ — had increased from July to August.

“We’ve got people who get stuck, sometimes for years, inside hospital beds who could be getting help elsewhere. So, the exciting thing about what’s happening here at Regency Green is that people with psychosocial disabilities who have been stuck in a hospital, sometimes for very long periods of time, [can] be able to get support here.

“That frees up the hospital beds and ultimately means that flow can happen in the hospital, which is what we need, ultimately, to address issues that we face in the emergency department.”

Minister Picton said that it was great to see the service has helped move participants out of the hospital who had previously been stuck there for a collective 19 years.

 

Community Living Options Chief Executive Officer Mel Kubisa joined stakeholders, participants and carers on Friday morning to celebrate the significant outcomes for people living with disability.

Ms Kubisa said the success was made possible through partnerships with Integrated Care Systems, Community Mental Health, Local Health Networks and the National Disability Insurance Agency.

“Looking ahead, Regency Green remains steadfast in its mission to create positive futures and empower participants to live their best lives,” the CEO said.

“With its foundation built on collaborative partnerships, person-centred care and a focus on successful transitions, the project is poised to continue its transformative journey and pave the way to improved care models for people with disability.”

 

Opened in August of 2022 through a partnership between SA Health, Wellbeing Integrated Care Systems and CLO, the pilot project and facility was envisioned as a humanised and safe alternative to hospital care for people with disability.

 

Human Services Minister Nat Cook said one of the most significant outcomes of the Regency Green pilot had been the guidance for transition to independent living from hospital.

“I think the really important thing, that we did very quickly as part of that interface between the Federal NDIS piece of work and the State hospital system, was to identify, accurately, how many people were in hospital for a very long period of time,” Minister Cook said.

“I think we are finally having a grown-up kind of conversation about how to do better for people who need the right supports and the right understanding and don’t necessarily need everything done for them or hand-wringing to happen.

“They just need the right systems in place, so they can actually stay strong in themselves.

“Extended hospital stays are not good for anybody, let alone anyone with a disability — physical or psychosocial. Regency Green has provided the opportunity for dozens of people to discharge from hospital earlier and to transfer in a supported way to home.”

Regency Green — Positive Futures has been showcased at a national level as a sustainable and safe solution to solve the hospital beds crisis while providing quality care to its participants.

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