Mental health patient transport

The timely and safe transportation of patients between health facilities and from the community directly supports patient outcomes. The Department of Health procures these services via the State Supply Commission (SSC). These policies provide the framework for goods and services procurement that reflect best practice principles and arrangements. The procurement of these services forms a legally binding contract between the Department of Health and the Contractor, who provides the patient transport service. Fees and charges may apply.

For mental health patients, the following contracts are in place for the safe transportation of mental health patients.

Safe transportation requires matching the clinical care needs of the patient with the appropriate transport options, and is underpinned by safety considerations, the principle of least restrictive care and risk management.

Emergency

  • All specialties 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by dialling 000

Inter-hospital transport

Hours 6.00am - 11.59pm 

  • All specialties including mental health patients.
  • This contract is specifically for the transfer of patients between hospitals – ward or Emergency Department

Mental health transport

Hours 6.00am - 11.59pm

  • Mental Health Patients under the Mental Health Act, 2014 WA – where a Transport Order form 4A or Apprehension and Return Order 7D is in place.
  • Transfers can occur in the community or from a hospital location
  • Referrals can be made by a psychiatrist, medical practitioner or an authorised mental health practitioner

Referral process

Metro process

An object of the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA 2014) is to ensure that people with a mental illness are provided with the least possible restriction of their freedom and the least possible interference with their rights with respect to their dignity. • Mental health patients have the right to safe transport that minimises interference with their rights, dignity and self-respect, and that reduces the likelihood that they will experience transport that is a traumatic event. This right needs to be balanced with the safety of all concerned and the active management of risk. In determining the choice of transport to be used, consideration should be given to the current situation, relevant risks and impact on family, friends and carers. This may include the consideration for:

a. Transport by a private vehicle or taxi

b. Transport by mental health service vehicle with accompanying clinical staff

c. Transport by Ambulance – refer to transport contacts section

d. Transport by police

Transport of a person with mental health problems by police should always be the option of last resort when all other transport options are considered unsuitable.

Police may be requested to attend when there is a significant risk of harm to the person or others in the course of transport.

Transport in a police vehicle is more restrictive and may add to stigma for the person and family of those who are mentally ill

In some situations, however, the ambulance paramedics may determine they cannot provide transport without assistance.

This is a decision that must be made between mental health clinicians and ambulance contractors prior to contacting police.

Relevant forms

WA Country Health process

WACHS process differs from Metro process (WACHS does not have access to transport officers and cannot use WMO) 

As per the Mental Health Act, WA Police Force are the agency to enact Form 4As in WACHS regions.Referrals can be made by a psychiatrist, medical practitioner or an authorised mental health practitioner

Transport contacts

Emergency

St John Ambulance
Phone – 000 or (08) 9334 1234
Operating hours – 24 hours, 7 days

Inter hospital transport

Where a Form 4A does not apply / is not in place.

Wilson Medic One (Wilson Health PTY LTD)
Phone: 1300 284 940
Fax: (08) 9350 9115
Website: Wilson Medic One (external site)
Operating hours: Monday - Sunday, 6.00am - 11.59pm

St John Ambulance
Phone: (08) 9334 1234
Website: St John Ambulance (external site)
Operating hours: Monday - Sunday, 6.00am - 11.59pm

National Patient transport
Contact: Scott Sinclair
Phone: 0419 049 503
Email: SSinclair@nptgroup.com.au
Website: National Patient Transport (external site)
Contact to supply: Transport for medium and low acuity mental health patients.
Operating hours: 6.30am - 7.00pm

Mental health transport (Form 4A) – IHT, community, Jandakot

Wilson Medic One (Wilson Health PTY LTD)
Phone: 1300 284 940
Fax: (08) 9350 9115
Website: Wilson Medic One (external site)
Operating hours: Monday - Sunday, 6.00am - 11.59pm

Last reviewed: 13-07-2020