Canterbury DHB recently received additional funding from the Ministry of Health for mental health. It is great to be able to announce that some of this funding is going to be used by Pegasus Health PHO to purchase ‘Equally Well extended primary care consultations' for people who experience mental health problems and/or addiction.
Pegasus Health PHO endorsed the Equally Well position paper two years ago and since this time has been developing a number of initiatives which align to the principles of the collaborative. Pegasus recognises that one barrier to improved physical health are the costs to see a general practice team and that’s why they are going to start funding visits for physical health needs for people in contact with specialist mental health and addiction services and those people on opioid substitution treatment.
Vince Barry, CE of Pegasus Health said “Addressing inequities is a priority for Pegasus and improving the physical health of people who experience mental health problems and/or addiction is a key part of this. We are really pleased that we can use some of this additional money for extended consultations. It will cover anyone who is on or expected to be on antipsychotics for more than three month and patients on opioid substitution treatment and can be used by any clinicians in the GP team”.
The Equally Well extended consults are for up to 4 physical health visits per year and went live on Tuesday 13 December. There is also a new claims process for mental health appointments for young people aged 13-24, called ‘Youth extended consults. For clinicians with access to Health Pathways, more information on the new extended consultations can be found there.
Screenshot from Pegasus' e-portal claims system.