The Expert Reference Group will be established as a time-limited body to provide the Department of Health with expert advice to inform the development and implementation of the Government’s response to the Review.
The Group will operate from inception up to October 2015, with the possibility of extension if required.
The Group will advise the Department on proposed policy, programme and service changes in response to the Review, with specific attention to:
- The evidence base underpinning changes to mental health programmes and services;
- Potential options for and implications of programme redesign;
- Workforce and regional infrastructure issues;
- Process issues in relation to consulting on and developing a response to the Review.
The Expert Reference Group will provide advice to inform policy and implementation decisions for the Commonwealth however it is not a decision making body.
The scope of the Expert Reference Group will be weighted towards policy and programme changes which are within the role of the Commonwealth to directly implement through its current national programmes. It will also consider the broader system leadership role that the Commonwealth plays within the National Mental Health Strategy.
The advice of the Expert Reference Group will be complemented by advice obtained from stakeholders through a broader consultation, and existing ongoing mental health advisory groups over the coming months.
Expert Reference Group Members are appointed as individual experts. Members will be required to sign confidentiality agreements and declare any real or potential conflicts of interest at the commencement of each meeting.
Advice obtained from the Expert Reference Group will also help to inform the Commonwealth’s input to discussion with states and territories under the COAG Health Council on the development of a new National Mental Health Plan as well as inform deliberations of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group and the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review taskforce.