Service Reviews

Emergency Department/Mental Health and Addictions 
External Review  

In 2012 Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care initiated an independent, external review of emergency department, mental health and addiction services. The review examined how to provide care for people with mental health and substance misuse concerns and offered 22 recommendations to improve care.

VCH and PHC fully accepted the findings and established a team to address the review’s recommendations. This team included senior leaders from VCH, PHC, Vancouver Community Corrections, Vancouver Police Department, Ministry of Health as well as patient, family and public representatives.

How have we improved care?

Here are some of the highlights of what we have accomplished together:

  • Opened a 24/7 Acute Behavioural Stabilization Unit to provide specialized care for patients with complex mental health and substance use needs.
  • Launched an Assertive Outreach Team to support the transition of complex patients after discharge from the hospital.
  • Added two new Assertive Community Treatment teams to help people in the community with complex mental health and substance use needs.
  • Developed a standard psychiatric assessment tool for use in all emergency departments.
  • Created an online training module related to the Mental Health Act to provide ongoing education for clinicians.
  • Launched a second Inner City Youth Team to improve the coordination of services for youth aged 16-24.
  • Improved the access and flow into the Burnaby Center for Mental Health and Addictions.
  • Created an information sharing Memorandum of Understanding between the VPD and VCH/PHC.
  • Developed a new Family Involvement Policy.

Final report - October 2014
Read the final report in full.

Strengthening alignment of our services with patient needs and volume.

External Reviewers Final Report – August 2012