Acute Care Program

The Acute Care Program incorporates contemporary practice in the delivery of individual and group therapy during the acute phase of a mental illness. The focus of the program is the provision of extensive assessment and early treatment, which usually lasts many weeks. The assessment phase includes a comprehensive multi-disciplinary bio-psycho-social assessment. Each patient’s care is co-ordinated by a primary nurse in collaboration with other health and allied health disciplines. A full range of bio-medical therapies is offered, together with individual counselling and group therapies.

The Acute Care Program comprises 60 beds in three distinct units:

Argyle 15 beds Male acutely ill patients in a high secure setting.
Atherton 15 beds Male acutely ill patients in a high secure setting.
Barossa 10 beds Women requiring acute care in a high secure setting.
Bass 20 beds Male, sub-acute unit in a high secure environment.

The Acute Care Program is primarily for patients from the criminal justice system who are in need of psychiatric assessment and/or acute care and treatment. Most patients are received from the prison system or courts. Patients in the Acute Care Program generally consist of people detained by virtue of mental impairment and remanded and sentenced prisoners with serious mental illness in need of inpatient treatment.

At times there is limited capacity to provide short-term admissions for patients from the general mental health system who require specialised treatment and support. All admissions are approved by the authorised psychiatrist or their delegate. The transfer of patients from the prison system also requires the approval of the Commissioner of Correctional Services (Corrections Victoria, Department of Justice).