Creating a sustainable and effective mental health workforce for Gippsland, Victoria

Solutions and directions for strategic planning

K. P. Sutton, D. Maybery, T. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Introduction: The Gippsland region of Victoria, in common with other Australian rural and regional areas, is experiencing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Attracting mental health professionals to work in such areas is a major concern for service providers, policy-makers and rural/regional communities. Previous studies have focused on identifying factors contributing to the maldistribution of the health workforce, principally medical practitioners. Recent reviews have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of evidence for the effectiveness of initiatives designed to address workforce shortages in underserved locations. The reported study sought the views of mental health organisation leaders from Gippsland to identify current approaches and potential solutions to the challenges of workforce recruitment, retention and training. A key goal of the study was to inform a strategic regional approach to the development of a more sustainable and effective mental health workforce. 

    Methods: Investigators conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 26 administrators, managers and senior clinicians from public and private sector mental health organisations throughout Gippsland. Thematic content analysis of the transcribed interviews identified current approaches and potential solutions to the recruiting, retaining and training problems in the region. 

    Results: The study categorised solutions as focusing on factors external or internal to organisations. Solutions external to organisations included efforts to enhance the pool of available workers, improve intra-sectoral collaboration and cross-sectoral linkages, make funding more flexible, and to institute a contemporary curriculum and take innovative pedagogical approaches to training. Internal solutions included the need for strong leadership and quality organisational culture, flexible and adaptable approaches to meeting individual worker and community needs, promoting the organisation and local area and adopting models of care. Informants indicated that individual organisations are limited in their capacity to address recruitment, retention and training issues and highlighted the potential benefits of a regional mental health workforce recruitment, retention and training strategy. 

    Conclusion: This study provides a unique insight into the creative approaches adopted by managers in Gippsland to recruit and retain mental health workers. It brings a new perspective to the literature due to the reflections of managers, grounded as they are in day-to-day work.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1585
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalRural and Remote Health
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Fingerprint

    Health Manpower
    Victoria
    strategic planning
    Mental Health
    mental health
    Organizations
    manager
    Administrative Personnel
    health professionals
    available workers
    shortage
    Interviews
    Organizational Culture
    worker
    Private Sector
    Public Sector
    Rural Population
    organizational culture
    interview
    Direction compound

    Cite this

    @article{eb65636880e54d279293a8165e1302e9,
    title = "Creating a sustainable and effective mental health workforce for Gippsland, Victoria: Solutions and directions for strategic planning",
    abstract = "Introduction: The Gippsland region of Victoria, in common with other Australian rural and regional areas, is experiencing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Attracting mental health professionals to work in such areas is a major concern for service providers, policy-makers and rural/regional communities. Previous studies have focused on identifying factors contributing to the maldistribution of the health workforce, principally medical practitioners. Recent reviews have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of evidence for the effectiveness of initiatives designed to address workforce shortages in underserved locations. The reported study sought the views of mental health organisation leaders from Gippsland to identify current approaches and potential solutions to the challenges of workforce recruitment, retention and training. A key goal of the study was to inform a strategic regional approach to the development of a more sustainable and effective mental health workforce. Methods: Investigators conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 26 administrators, managers and senior clinicians from public and private sector mental health organisations throughout Gippsland. Thematic content analysis of the transcribed interviews identified current approaches and potential solutions to the recruiting, retaining and training problems in the region. Results: The study categorised solutions as focusing on factors external or internal to organisations. Solutions external to organisations included efforts to enhance the pool of available workers, improve intra-sectoral collaboration and cross-sectoral linkages, make funding more flexible, and to institute a contemporary curriculum and take innovative pedagogical approaches to training. Internal solutions included the need for strong leadership and quality organisational culture, flexible and adaptable approaches to meeting individual worker and community needs, promoting the organisation and local area and adopting models of care. Informants indicated that individual organisations are limited in their capacity to address recruitment, retention and training issues and highlighted the potential benefits of a regional mental health workforce recruitment, retention and training strategy. Conclusion: This study provides a unique insight into the creative approaches adopted by managers in Gippsland to recruit and retain mental health workers. It brings a new perspective to the literature due to the reflections of managers, grounded as they are in day-to-day work.",
    keywords = "Leadership, Management, Organisational culture, Organisational structure, Rural mental health workforce",
    author = "Sutton, {K. P.} and D. Maybery and T. Moore",
    year = "2011",
    month = "1",
    language = "English",
    volume = "11",
    pages = "1--11",
    journal = "Rural and Remote Health",
    issn = "1445-6354",
    publisher = "Australian Rural Health Education Network",
    number = "1",

    }

    Creating a sustainable and effective mental health workforce for Gippsland, Victoria : Solutions and directions for strategic planning. / Sutton, K. P.; Maybery, D.; Moore, T.

    In: Rural and Remote Health, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1585, 01.2011, p. 1-11.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Creating a sustainable and effective mental health workforce for Gippsland, Victoria

    T2 - Solutions and directions for strategic planning

    AU - Sutton, K. P.

    AU - Maybery, D.

    AU - Moore, T.

    PY - 2011/1

    Y1 - 2011/1

    N2 - Introduction: The Gippsland region of Victoria, in common with other Australian rural and regional areas, is experiencing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Attracting mental health professionals to work in such areas is a major concern for service providers, policy-makers and rural/regional communities. Previous studies have focused on identifying factors contributing to the maldistribution of the health workforce, principally medical practitioners. Recent reviews have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of evidence for the effectiveness of initiatives designed to address workforce shortages in underserved locations. The reported study sought the views of mental health organisation leaders from Gippsland to identify current approaches and potential solutions to the challenges of workforce recruitment, retention and training. A key goal of the study was to inform a strategic regional approach to the development of a more sustainable and effective mental health workforce. Methods: Investigators conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 26 administrators, managers and senior clinicians from public and private sector mental health organisations throughout Gippsland. Thematic content analysis of the transcribed interviews identified current approaches and potential solutions to the recruiting, retaining and training problems in the region. Results: The study categorised solutions as focusing on factors external or internal to organisations. Solutions external to organisations included efforts to enhance the pool of available workers, improve intra-sectoral collaboration and cross-sectoral linkages, make funding more flexible, and to institute a contemporary curriculum and take innovative pedagogical approaches to training. Internal solutions included the need for strong leadership and quality organisational culture, flexible and adaptable approaches to meeting individual worker and community needs, promoting the organisation and local area and adopting models of care. Informants indicated that individual organisations are limited in their capacity to address recruitment, retention and training issues and highlighted the potential benefits of a regional mental health workforce recruitment, retention and training strategy. Conclusion: This study provides a unique insight into the creative approaches adopted by managers in Gippsland to recruit and retain mental health workers. It brings a new perspective to the literature due to the reflections of managers, grounded as they are in day-to-day work.

    AB - Introduction: The Gippsland region of Victoria, in common with other Australian rural and regional areas, is experiencing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Attracting mental health professionals to work in such areas is a major concern for service providers, policy-makers and rural/regional communities. Previous studies have focused on identifying factors contributing to the maldistribution of the health workforce, principally medical practitioners. Recent reviews have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of evidence for the effectiveness of initiatives designed to address workforce shortages in underserved locations. The reported study sought the views of mental health organisation leaders from Gippsland to identify current approaches and potential solutions to the challenges of workforce recruitment, retention and training. A key goal of the study was to inform a strategic regional approach to the development of a more sustainable and effective mental health workforce. Methods: Investigators conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 26 administrators, managers and senior clinicians from public and private sector mental health organisations throughout Gippsland. Thematic content analysis of the transcribed interviews identified current approaches and potential solutions to the recruiting, retaining and training problems in the region. Results: The study categorised solutions as focusing on factors external or internal to organisations. Solutions external to organisations included efforts to enhance the pool of available workers, improve intra-sectoral collaboration and cross-sectoral linkages, make funding more flexible, and to institute a contemporary curriculum and take innovative pedagogical approaches to training. Internal solutions included the need for strong leadership and quality organisational culture, flexible and adaptable approaches to meeting individual worker and community needs, promoting the organisation and local area and adopting models of care. Informants indicated that individual organisations are limited in their capacity to address recruitment, retention and training issues and highlighted the potential benefits of a regional mental health workforce recruitment, retention and training strategy. Conclusion: This study provides a unique insight into the creative approaches adopted by managers in Gippsland to recruit and retain mental health workers. It brings a new perspective to the literature due to the reflections of managers, grounded as they are in day-to-day work.

    KW - Leadership

    KW - Management

    KW - Organisational culture

    KW - Organisational structure

    KW - Rural mental health workforce

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79956270156&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    M3 - Article

    VL - 11

    SP - 1

    EP - 11

    JO - Rural and Remote Health

    JF - Rural and Remote Health

    SN - 1445-6354

    IS - 1

    M1 - 1585

    ER -