|Title:||Mental Health Consumer Medication Information|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0591/15|
|Date of issue:||Thursday, 26 February 2015|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||An Operational Directive outlining the requirement for clinicians to provide mental health patients with timely verbal and written information for every new medication commenced by the patient. The Operational Directive also covers the written consumer medication information (CMI) sheets that are recommended by the Chief Psychiatrist and Office of Mental Health.|
|Legal requirements:||Mental Health Act 1996 and Regulations
|Applicable to:||Clinicians, mental health workers, mental health professionals, nursing staff|
|Framework:||Mental Health Policy Framework|
|Period of effect:||from 18 February 2015 to 18 February 2016|
|Review date:||18 January 2016|
|Authorised by:||Professor Bryant Stokes, A/Director General, Department of Health WA, 22-Feb-2015|
|Print version:||View print version|
Mental Health Consumer Medication Information
Every patient must be provided with both verbal and written information regarding each new medication commenced.
When mental health consumers are prescribed medication, it is paramount that their informed consent is obtained. Key to this is providing appropriately comprehensive, yet accessible and readable information to consumers about what they are prescribed, the benefits and risks of treatment and non-treatment, and other treatment options. Consumers, their carers and families are then empowered to make truly informed decisions about their care.
Under Section 10 Mental Health Act 1996 (the ‘Act’) the Chief Psychiatrist has a statutory responsibility in relation to the maintenance of satisfactory medication standards.
Under Section 97 of the Act patients are to be given a clear explanation of the proposed treatment. This includes explanation of why medication is being recommended and the risks inherent to it, enabling them to make a balance judgement about their treatment.
Consistent with Stokes Review (2012) recommendations 2.5 and 7.10.14, written medication information must be provided to consumers to supplement a comprehensive verbal explanation of the medication and its associated advantages and disadvantages.
To aid clinicians in meeting this obligation, the Office of Mental Health and the Chief Psychiatrist has made available a suite of consumer medication information (‘CMIs’) leaflets developed by the group Choice and Medication. The WA Psychotropic Drug Committee has vetted a range of information providers and CMIs, and these recommended CMIs represent best practice, providing multiple flexible options to reach a range of diverse consumer needs. Please note that these CMIs are already being used in other Australian states and within the WA Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
The CMIs can be accessed at www.choiceandmedication.org/wadoh or via the Healthy WA public website, Office of Mental Health intranet page and Office of the Chief Psychiatrist internet page. A hyperlink to the Choice and Medication website will be included in the ‘handy links’ list for Best Practice users. Over 300 information sheets are provided on the website covering a large variety of psychotropic medications and related issues. Information sheets come in a variety of formats, including:
The website also provides answers to over 30 of the most commonly asked questions about 140 psychotropic drugs, answers to 14 of the most common questions about 21 mental health conditions, and unique ‘handy charts’ for comparing medicines for conditions. The website is produced and maintained by specialist pharmacists and endorsed by the UK College of Mental Health Pharmacy. The version used locally has been modified for the Australian context.
The Office of Mental Health and Chief Psychiatrist recommend the use of the Choice and Medication CMIs; however, Health Services are entitled to use other written consumer information sheets that have equivalent comprehensiveness and accessibility for readers where appropriate. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved CMIs remain available online.
Irrespective of which type of information sheets are provided, please ensure that consumers and their carers and/families (if applicable), are given information when every new medication is prescribed, along with a verbal explanation of medication treatment options, benefits and associated risks and side-effects. A brief summary of this conversation, reasons for medication use and medication dosage must be documented within the patient record.
Professor Bryant Stokes
This circular last updated: Thursday, 26 February 2015 at 12:59pm