LOGIC March 2018 Vol 17 Vol 1 - Page 45

Reflections of a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Clinical Leader at Compass Health PHO; how both roles are synergistic Lynley Byrne Three and a half years ago, I was transported through the “portal” from working in District Health Board services to primary health. In many ways, the different organisations have similar ways of working, but in other aspects, it has been like comparing chalk and cheese. I came from a working environment where the mantra was “there is no money for that” and after 10 years of that experience, morale was very low and the energy to develop new resources and to provide positive ongoing clinical input was also low. I arrived at Compass to be given a project that did not require five layers of management to approve it. Instead, I and the CEO, who put great faith in my ability to rollout a new model of primary mental health care that was March 2018 L.O.G.I.C Lynley Byrne is Clinical Leader of the mental health service at Compass Health PHO in Wellington and a Nurse Practitioner. She works collaboratively within general practice teams and provides assessment, diagnosis and prescribing for mental health conditions. She has developed a new model of primary mental health care whilst at Compass Health which has improved access to mental health services by placing mental health practitioners within primary practices. Lynley has worked within community mental health nursing roles for over 20 years and has worked in primary mental health for almost 4 years and was involved in the development of Closing the Loop with colleagues from the 4 largest PHOs in NZ. It is the vision of future primary mental health care in NZ more patient centric and utilised the health budget more effectively, were able to instigate change. Having done years of post- graduate study towards being a Nurse Practitioner, research into the evidence was paramount for me as a starting point for this new project, which proved problematic as I suddenly could not access the medical library. As a senior nurse, used to accessing this resource regularly for every new venture and new presentation, this was akin to living in another dimension. Three and a half years later I still do not have access to the library and neither do any other nurses in primary care which severely impacts our practice and being able to provide the most up to date clinical practice. Whilst developing the new model of care, I put my NP plans on hold in terms of finishing a portfolio and completing panel assessment. For the first one and a half years I focussed on the leadership portion of my role and developed the mental health service that provides better capability within primary practices to the population. When the service was developed to a point where it began to be self-sustaining and all recruitment was completed, I started working as a NP candidate in one of Compass Health’s low decile practices which works within a whānau care concept. The practice population is 65% Maori, low 43