Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding for joint-working protocols for the management of patients with mental health problems. The agreement will help set standards to enable both organisations to work together to provide more integrated care for mental health patients.

Dr Samya Al Abdulla, PHCC’s Executive Director for Operations, highlighted that patients will be the main focus of the programme, said:

We have established clear communication channels between the two organisations to improve continuity of care for our patients. Our shared vision and understanding will hopefully result in improved outcomes for patients and staff.’

Dr Fatema Musa, Head of the Mental Health Programme at PHCC added:

The joint-working group established between PHCC and HMC in the area of mental health worked very hard to ensure that our patients’ interests are at the centre of the agreement. Improved communication channels will be established to ensure the smooth transition of patients and continuity of care between the two organisations.’

This initiative is one of the key outcomes of the ‘Better Together’ programme which sets out a comprehensive approach to more integrated and effective collaborative working practices between Qatar’s key public sector healthcare providers.

Iain Tully, CEO of HMC’s Mental Health Service, added:

We have formed dedicated teams responsible for assessing the needs of our patients and determining improved pathways between primary and secondary care. The comprehensive set of joint-working protocols that are being developed are based on a shared understanding of how our mental health services should integrate. This is an important step towards raising the standards of mental healthcare in Qatar. These are centred on international best practice but reflect the needs and wishes of our local population.’

The joint working protocol covers the key stages of the patient pathway from physician referral through to assessment, care, treatment and discharge to primary care follow-up. It also identifies the general areas where PHCC and HMC can work together to improve joint-working and information sharing in the area of mental health.

Dr Majed Al Abdullah, Deputy Medical Director of HMC’s Mental Health Service, said:

I am delighted at how well this project has progressed to facilitate HMC and PHCC working more closely together to align the care that both organisations provide to mental health patients. Our recently signed Memorandum of Understanding will help us to streamline patient care by enabling us to share relevant information more effectively and establish improved referral pathways that will impact positively on the health outcomes of patients.’

More updates on hamad.qa and phcc.qa.