Over the last few months, a small group of leaders from Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Lakeridge Health have been exploring opportunities for greater collaboration between the two organizations to improve and extend community-based mental health and addictions services in Durham Region.
Exploring new ways to strengthen our partnership is critical to meeting the growing need for mental health and addictions service within the community setting. These discussions have specifically focused on improving the experience and quality of care for people with mental health conditions and addictions who access care and service at DMHS and Lakeridge Health’s Pinewood Centre.
Truly transforming local community mental health and addictions services requires removing barriers between providers and working as one team where every door to access service is the right door.
Given that our two organizations share many clients and have an extensive partnership, exploring a full voluntary integration is expected to further improve the coordination of mental health and addictions services and care transitions to provide enhanced access and quality services. Key to these improvements is the opportunity to have a shared client record and a more seamless referral process.
Through leveraging the combined strengths of DMHS, Pinewood Centre and the whole Lakeridge Health team, there is an opportunity to provide team members with an enriched learning and skill development experience.
DMHS and Lakeridge Health have determined that a voluntary integration between the two organizations would achieve improvements to the quality of care and experience for people with mental health conditions and addictions. And, at the same time, it will bring value to the health system and our dedicated teams that can be invested back into local mental health and addictions services.
Over the past week, the Board of Trustees at Lakeridge Health and the Board of Directors at DMHS approved entering into due diligence (legal, financial and operational) to assess the full benefits and risks of a voluntary integration, including the value for patients/clients.
The due diligence will result in a detailed report which will provide the information needed to make a well-informed decision about the future.
Over the next 60 days, a Joint Board Committee and small Joint Operational Working Group will undertake a due diligence process with a recommendation being presented to both Boards in the Spring.
To ensure a robust process, clients, families and program teams will be engaged as part of information-gathering and analysis. Both partners appreciate that new collaborations can create uncertainty and we will regularly communicate with our teams and partners to provide updates and progress reports.
Thank you for your incredible commitment to people living with mental health conditions and addictions in Durham Region.
If you have any questions about the partnership and due diligence process, please contact us directly.