Better Care Together
Through the 2022-23 State Budget the Queensland Government committed $1.645 billion in new funding over the next five years to improve our mental health, alcohol and other drug services and for a range of initiatives to support suicide prevention.
As part of this commitment, the Queensland Government released Better Care Together: A plan for Queensland’s state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug services to 2027 (PDF 7517 kB) (Better Care Together) and its companion document the Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Healthcare Digital Information Strategy 2022 – 2027 (PDF 3514 kB) (Digital Information Strategy) in October 2022.
Better Care Together Highlights (PDF 9088 kB) provides an overview of recent reform achievements and the priorities of the five-year plan to 2027.
Better Care Together builds on the previous five-year plan, Connecting Care to Recovery 2016-2021 (PDF 3401 kB), continuing the momentum to improve the mental health and wellbeing outcomes for Queenslanders by transforming, optimising and growing state-funded mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment, care and support and responses to mental health crisis and suicidality. It recognises the importance of balancing the provision of this treatment, care and support across community and hospital-based services and delivering an optimal mix of services and the right treatment and beds for the right purpose at the right time.
Better Care Together focuses on six key priorities:
- Strengthening service capacity and the built environment so that the state-funded service system can adapt and respond flexibly to the existing and emerging needs of Queenslanders across their lifespan.
- Responding to mental health crisis and suicidality innovatively with clinical and non-clinical supports so that people can move through a crisis period quickly and achieve a sustained recovery.
- Delivering improved services with First Nations people that support efforts to reduce health inequities and improve social and emotional wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
- Strengthening quality to reduce harm and improve outcomes ensuring that people accessing our state-funded services have access to treatment, care and support that is safe and respects their dignity, rights, and meets their individual needs and preferences.
- Improving workforce capability and sustainability is critical to ensuring that safe, high quality, responsive mental health, alcohol and other drug treatment, care and support can be provided to people across Queensland.
- Delivering digital capability and digitally enabled treatment, care and support to improve the care experience of individuals, open up new possibilities for healthcare accessibility across Queensland, and enhance the delivery of safe, efficient and effective care.
The approach to implementing the actions under these priorities will be supported by:
- co-design with people with lived experience
- working together to improve outcomes
- dedicated funding streams and evidence-based planning
- effective governance, implementation, accountability and performance measures.
Better Care Together will support the Queensland Government to deliver on:
- its response to many of the recommendations made through the Parliamentary Mental Health Select Committee Inquiry into the opportunities to improve the mental health outcomes of Queenslanders
- the alcohol and other drug treatment components of Achieving balance: The Queensland Alcohol and Other Drugs Plan 2022-2027
- the Bilateral Schedule to the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.
As a key priority of Better Care Together, the Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Healthcare Digital Information Strategy 2022-2027 (Digital Information Strategy) seeks to enhance digital capability and responsiveness across the service system and transform the delivery of healthcare to realise better and safer outcomes while driving efficiencies including:
- a shift to digitally enabled healthcare supporting improved continuity of care and clinical outcomes
- seamless care experiences for consumers via integrated digital services and technologies
- unlocking information potential to inform governance, planning and improvement
- strengthened alignment of digital priorities with the broader Queensland Health and national health ecosystem.
Through a dedicated investment, projects under the Digital Information Strategy will enhance support for consumers to recover and stay healthy, optimise the provision of clinical and non-clinical care to support recovery and further augment the management and administration of an effective healthcare system.