Primary Care Psychology



Melbourne Psychologist Referral Information for Health Professionals

Medical and Allied Health Practitioners

 

Medical practitioners and allied health professionals sometimes find themselves providing a primary counselling service to patients. Many enjoy this aspect of their work, but most health professionals choose to refer to psychologists if time-consuming or complex issues arise.

 

Primary Care Psychology places a high value on relationships with primary and allied health care providers. We recognise that the best patient outcomes are achieved when there is an efficient and timely flow of information between psychologist and referrer, and reporting is kept to a level that allows informed decision-making without an overwhelming amount of extraneous data.

 

The following file is a fact sheet for GPs, which describes the bulk-billed services offered by Primary Care Psychology:

 

Referral Information for GPs

 

 

 

New Referrals

 

We welcome new referrals to any of our three psychology services (see below). The best method for referral is via post, but please call or email if you would like to discuss any issues.

 

Contact details:

 

Att: Jonathon Walker
Clinical Psychologist

Primary Care Psychology
PO Box 48
Brighton, Vic., 3186


Email: Psychology Contact

 

 

 

Clinical Psychology Services

 

New referrals may be made on weekdays or weekends, and we can offer a range of service delivery options.

 

 

1. Home Visit Service – $0 (Bulk-billed)


Primary Care Psychology was initially established to provide psychology services to those who have difficulty attending a medical clinic on a regular basis.

 

Patient populations who can benefit from this service include:

  • the elderly
  • people suffering chronic pain or illness
  • patients recently discharged from hospital, including assistance with adhering to discharge plans
  • those with panic disorder and / or agoraphobia
  • people acutely depressed or experiencing low motivation (e.g., patients with eating disorders)

 

In recognition of the financial difficulties that many of these patients experience, those referred under this system are bulk-billed.

 

It is rare to find a clinical psychology service that offers bulk-billing, but we are aware that many people in the community are missing out on necessary psychological care simply because they cannot afford weekly, out-of-pocket psychologist fees. We hope our referrers will appreciate and support this initiative.

 

Area Restrictions

Currently, the home visit service is only available in the south-eastern suburbs (between Port Melbourne and Mordialloc, and further eastwards).

 

Safety Precautions

The only way Primary Care Psychology can offer a home-visit service is by taking several safety precautions.

 

Conditions that are not appropriate for a home-visit referral include:

  • schizophrenia / psychosis
  • bipolar disorder
  • substance abuse disorders
  • aggression / violence / impulsiveness issues
  • acute suicidality and / or self-harm

In these instances please choose an alternative service delivery method below.

 

 

2. Psychology Clinic: Armadale – $0 (Bulk-billed)

 

We also offer bulk-billed consultations at our psychology clinic in Armadale (medical practitioners do not work at this location).

 

Extended hours are available on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and every second Saturday for patients who work full-time.

 

 

3. Your Medical Clinic

 

An alternative option that works well for some patients are consultations at your medical clinic. Not only are patients more comfortable in familiar surroundings, but the proximity encourages a better working relationship between the GP and clinical psychologist.

 

 

We make these three options available in recognition that both patients and practitioners have various needs, and we aim to assist where possible.

 

 

Psychology and Medicine Alliance

 

Bulk Billing

  • The Australian Psychological Society's recommended fee for a 60-minute consultation with a psychologist is $228.

     

    However, an article in The Age (May 7, 2007), entitled "Psychologist Access is a Mind Game", reported that the distribution of access to psychological services is skewed toward more affluent areas. Many psychologists are charging well above the Medicare rebated rate, which hinders access for those with low disposable incomes (i.e., cash in excess of the costs of daily living).

     

    Primary Care Psychology was created to improve access to psychological services to members of the community who have difficulty attending a regular medical clinic, or have difficulty paying standard clinic fees.

     

  • With this goal in mind, we are the first psychology service to offer a fully bulk-billed service, which can be especially useful for patients who would otherwise miss out on professional psychological care.

 

Our Psychologists

All psychologists working with Primary Care Psychology:

  • Are members of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and APS College of Clinical Psychologists
  • Have current registration with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA)
  • Have completed a postgraduate clinical psychology degree
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