Table 1

Linkage strategies

Direct collaborative activitiesLink working✓✓Predominantly informal links and localised, some OPMH specific
Co-location✓✓Various services co-located across the region, mainly health and some aged care services
Consultation liaison✓✓OPMHS role (local) and psychiatric and geriatrician review (visiting) but GPs and social care services looking for support
Care management✓✓Good within and across services, some gaps when the consumer has needs that cross health and social care—no overarching cross-sector coordination
Agreed guidelinesProtocolsProtocols for general mental health—none OPMH specific that cross health and social care
Stepped care✓✓Predominantly between health and aged care
Communication systemsEnhanced communication✓✓Various meetings in the region but no overarching formal mechanism with commitment from health and social care; Informal mechanism working well in small subregion
Enhanced referral✓✓Range of formal and informal process in place but some lack of knowledge about these across services in the region
Electronic communication systemLimited to health services
Service agreementService agreementNo specific agreements for OPMH other than more general MOU between police, SAAS and mental health.
  • Criteria: Older people's mental health (OPMH) specific; regional as compared to localised; and formal and regular compared to ad hoc

  • No criteria evident (X) through to all three criteria evident (✓✓✓).

  • For full definition of linkage strategies see Fuller et al.19

  • GPs, general practitioners; MOU, memorandum of understanding; OPMHS, Older Person's Mental Health Service; SAAS, South Australian Ambulance Service.