The Floresco Integrated Service Hub is a ‘one-stop’ mental health service for adults.
Operating at the Floresco Centre in Ipswich in the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service region, the hub was established in late 2014 by a consortium of non-government organisations, led by Aftercare.
Integrated service model
Through the Department of Health, the Queensland Government funded the Floresco consortium to deliver the following non-clinical, community-based mental health services:
- personalised support
- mutual support and self-help
- group support activities
- family and carer support.
The consortium has worked with several other local health and community service providers to establish Floresco as an integrated mental health service hub.
In addition to the services listed above, the hub is designed to simplify access to a range of other services for people with mental illness and their families and carers—for example, general practitioners, psychology, and mental health social work services.
Floresco’s integrated service model aims to overcome many of the challenges caused by the fragmentation of Australia’s mental health system, which tend to undermine its ability to deliver sustainable improvements in outcomes for people affected by mental illness.
With funding assistance from the Commission, Aftercare engaged the University of Queensland through the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR) to undertake an evaluation of the project, which was finalised in June 2018. The Floresco Service Model Evaluation, Final Report 2018 was published in January 2019.
Challenges and opportunities
The evaluation showed there were a number of challenges to providing an integrated model of care, such as information sharing; staff recruitment and retention; integrating with the public mental health service; responding to higher than anticipated demand, and the complexities of operating in a consortium model.
A number of opportunities for improvement were identified that could strengthen the Floresco model, including increased and more flexible funding; stronger clinical governance as well as a more strategic focus by the overarching governance committee; better induction of staff regarding the Floresco vision, model and underpinning philosophy; and a greater focus on staff retention.
The evaluation also demonstrated key success factors of the project included an enabling environment; committed and consistent leadership; a high level of staff and stakeholder buy-in; and strong relationships, characterised by open communication.
The evaluation showed the integrated service model appears to have contributed to positive mental health outcomes for clients who have significant mental health and functional difficulties.
Importantly, service users also identified they found the ‘one-stop’ model useful and building on this success, another Floresco centre was opened in Toowoomba in 2017.