Project Update


On 7 June 2016, the eSPACE Programme Board met to discuss the potential impacts of a situation change in the eSPACE Mental Health and Addiction (MH&A) work.

As a result of this meeting:

  • work on the single-option (West Coast) MH&A eSPACE business case has stopped
  • the focus of the Mental Health and Addiction workstream has shifted to reviewing all potential options.

That said, it is important to be clear that:

  • only the MH&A business case work has stopped
  • work on all other elements of the eSPACE Mental Health and Addiction workstream continues as previously advised, including regional forms agreement, identifying migration requirements, extracts and reports.

This update outlines the following in further detail.                                                                       

  1. The background to the eSPACE Programme Board’s decision.
  2. What elements of the eSPACE MH&A workstream will be carrying on in ‘business as usual’ mode.

1. Background

  • Mental Health and Addiction is an important project for the eSPACE programme and for the Region.
  • As part of Project REFLECT – a four-month systematic review of the eSPACE Programme – the eSPACE Region’s CEOs committed to prioritising the MH&A business case with urgency.
  • During this time, the eSPACE team has been reviewing the artefacts currently in place within the sector.
  • It is clear from that review that the Regional Mental Health and Addiction Network has done an exceptional job of aligning business requirements.
  • Agreement to transform the way MH&A operates across the region has already occurred – now the region needs enabling technology.

Situation change

Since the single-option (West Coast) focus MH&A strategy was approved, a number of changes have occurred.

  • The South Island has decided to proceed to market for a Mental Health and Addiction solution, rather than using the Orion solution as previously advised. This makes it difficult for the Midland Region to conclude a partnership arrangement.
  • On 7 June 2016, the eSPACE Programme Board, mindful of the need to keep eSPACE work in synergy with the rest of the sector, met in order to review the potential impacts of these changes for the MH&A business case.
  • The board’s conclusion was that the combined ‘knock on effects’ of various changes in the sector environment meant pursuing a single-option business case was no longer appropriate.
  • Given this, the board asked the eSPACE Mental Health and Addiction team to do the following.
  1. Stop work on the single option (West Coast) business case.
  2. Prepare a briefing paper based on reviewing all potential options, to be submitted to the ISLT (CIOs), Regional Clinical Governance Network and other relevant business groups in late July for review, endorsement and subsequent presentation to the Programme Board.

2. ‘Business as usual’ work

Work continues ‘business as usual’ on the following key elements of the MH&A work which are unaffected by the change in focus.

  • Regional forms agreement.
  • Identifying migration requirements.
  • Extracts and reports.

3. What next for the MH&A business case?

Considering options

  • The eSPACE Mental Health and Addiction team has commenced preparation of a briefing paper which considers a range of potential solutions.
  • This briefing paper will draw on the information and sector insight already collected for the business case.
  • The team have identified six starting options.
  • Initial analysis will identify a shortlist of options to proceed to clinical SWOT analysis – which in turn will allow Mental Health and Addiction work to proceed in step with both national sector work and other eSPACE workstreams.

Why do this?

  • To develop ‘best possible’ technology options to support decision-making and clinical care within Mental Health and Addiction – for the benefit of both clinicians and service users.
  • There is clinical risk (especially around paper-based systems), particularly for Lakes and Tairawhiti DHBs.
  • Clinical tools need to be developed in close collaboration with clinicians and service users; and have a clear line of sight to sector work being undertaken at the national level.

If you have any queries regarding the eSPACE Mental Health and Addiction work, please don’t hesitate to contact David Ireland on 021 280 6113 or