St Helen’s Private Hospital, Hobart closure

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on 23 June 2023

 

Important update

Healthscope has made the very difficult decision to close St Helen’s Private Hospital. Services at the hospital will cease operating on 23 June 2023.

We are very proud of the hospital’s history in providing high quality mental healthcare to Tasmanians for 30 years and the skills, care and dedication of our staff and the doctors who have forged a strong reputation for delivering outstanding patient care and outcomes.

Patients should speak to their treating doctor to discuss alternative future care arrangements that are available.

If you are in crisis, call 000 or go to the emergency department at Royal Hobart Hospital.

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St Helen’s Private Hospital, a private mental health facilityoperated by Healthscope in Hobart will close on 23 June 2023.

The decision to close St Helen’s in no way reflects on theskills, care and dedication of the staff and the doctors who have forged aproud reputation for delivering outstanding patient care and outcomes.

The decision came following a review in 2022 of the workrequired to maintain the building and a thorough assessment of options.

The hospital’s capacity has been limited for some time becauseof the age of the building. Demand for services has also been significantlyreducing.

Built in the early 20th Century,the building now requires a multi-million-dollar investment to replace theroof, electrical systems and hydraulics to meet the standard required tooperate as a mental health facility at capacity now and in the future.Unfortunately, this investment is not viable for Healthscope.

Many options were explored before making the difficult decisionto close the hospital.

We understand the uncertainty that the announcement of theclosure of St Helen’s Private Hospital created for patients who use or haveused our services.

Our focus is to continue providing high quality patient careuntil services at the hospital cease in June and to offer support for patientsto find alternative care arrangements.

Our discussions are ongoing with the Tasmanian Government, localpublic mental health services and The Hobart Clinic about the future ofservices which had been provided at St Helen’s. A current update is below.

Service

Proposed future availability

Mother and Baby Unit

The Tasmanian Government has committed to ensuring uninterrupted care for mothers and infants. A specialised Mother and Baby Unit has been established within the public health system and will be operational in mid-June.

The unit will have three dedicated beds in a separate, nurturing environment and accommodate mothers experiencing mental ill-health such as postnatal depression and anxiety.

Please find more information from the Tasmanian Government here

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Three Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) machines will remain in Tasmania with The Hobart Clinic taking two machines and the remaining machine being acquired by the Tasmanian Government.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Current service providers including the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Hobart Clinic have capacity for patients via a day surgery model.

Please find more information from the Tasmanian Government here

Inpatient programs

  • Conversations are underway with The Hobart Clinic to increase their capacity over time.
  • The Peacock Centre in North Hobart will soon be increasing from 8 beds to 12 beds.
  • Clarity Health Care (for Bupa members) recently opened a new mental health clinic in Battery Point, offering a hospital substitution program equivalent to 22 beds, expected to support up to 350 patients every year.
  • 12 new Mental Health Hospital In The Home (HITH) beds will be opened in the North West later this year.
  • Work is underway to develop Mental Health Hospital In The Home (HITH) for youth in the North West and this is expected to be operational later this year.
  • A minimum of 5 new beds will be delivered through the Detox@Home pilot in the South later this year.
  • An additional 15 mental health beds will be opened at St. John's Park, New Town in late 2024/early 2025.

Please find more information from the Tasmanian Government here

General psychiatry

Other services are being collated and contact details for treating teams as well as patients will be provided here when available.

Day programs

Day programs will be transitioning to The Hobart Clinic.


The Tasmanian Government’s Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS) covers some of the travel and accommodation costs for Tasmanians who need to travel long distances for specialised care
.

  • If you are in crisis, you should call 000 or go to the emergency department at Royal Hobart Hospital.
  • For ongoing support needs, we encourage patients to speak with their psychiatrist, GP or healthcare professional in the first instance to discuss any queries and find out more about the alternative care arrangements that will be available in the future.
  • Healthscope’s Mental Health Priority Access Service provides access to mental health inpatient treatments and beds available across Healthscope’s network of hospitals. For more information, call 0474 707 995 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. At other times, you can leave a voicemail message.

There are a range of mental health support services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These services can provide treatment, information, tools and advice on how to deal with a range of mental health issues. This list includes inpatient, day program and phone helpline details.

There are no mental health services available at Hobart Private Hospital.

Healthscope has consulted extensively with psychiatrists aboutthe impact of the closure and what support they need in the future to continueproviding care to their patients.

All psychiatrists have been offered opportunities to continuetreating their patients at other nearby facilities.

We are continuing to work with our clinicians to support a safetransition of care for their patients.

Dedicated staff members are available to support doctors andvulnerable patients with transition plans. This includes potential priorityadmissions for some patients at The Hobart Clinic, The Victoria Clinic, TheMelbourne Clinic, The Geelong Clinic or Northpark Private Hospital.

We are providing as much flexibility as possible as weunderstand that the transfer of care may be more complex for some patients thanfor others. We will determine the level of support we can provide on acase-by-case basis.

We understand that current and former patients of St. Helen's Private Hospital may have concerns about the confidentiality and privacy of their personal information.

As a healthcare provider, we have a legal responsibility to handle all patient files and information in accordance with relevant privacy laws and regulations.

We want to make it clear that all patient files are retained from the date of treatment for a period of time as required by law, and we understand our obligations to maintain patient confidentiality of sensitive information.

We are committed to maintaining the availability of St Helen’s Private Hospital medical records to clinicians and clients following the hospital’s closure.

Medical records will be maintained and released in accordance with Tasmanian Government Department of Health guidelines and legislation.

If you need to access your own St Helen’s record, or you are a clinician caring for a St Helen’s patient, please email HobartPrivateHIS@healthscope.com.au.

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