The role of mainstream Allied Health in Aboriginal Health

 

Mainstream primary care has an important role in ensuring better service provision, including improved health assessment uptake. The CESPHN Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing program aims to improve the capacity of mainstream primary care services to deliver culturally sensitive services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. CESPHN also work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, including Aboriginal Medical Services to support improved Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.

  

Closing the Gap - Integrated Team Care

Background

From 2016-17, the Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care (IIAMPC) activities and the Care Coordination and Supplementary Services (CCSS) have been combined to form the Integrated Team Care (ITC) Activity.

ITC Activity is one of the measures under the Closing the Gap scheme aimed at improving chronic disease management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ITC includes Care Coordination, Supplementary Services and Outreach Work. 

Care Coordination 

Care Coordination is provided by a qualified healthcare worker to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a chronic condition such as respiratory disease, renal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer.

Care Coordinators are qualified health workers (for example, nurses, Allied Health professionals or Aboriginal Health Workers) who support eligible patients to access the services they need to treat their chronic disease according to the General Practitioner (GP) care plan.

The work of a Care Coordinator can include providing clinical care, arranging the services in patients’ care plans and assisting patients to participate in regular reviews by their primary care providers. Care Coordinators work closely with Aboriginal Outreach Workers in many of these activities.

Care coordinators who will work collaboratively with GPs in accordance with the client’s care plan. The care coordinators may assist clients in a number of ways: 

  • assist people in understanding their chronic health condition and help them to develop self-management skills
  • assist with understanding of medicines
  • assist with lifestyle changes and referrals to programs to assist
  • facilitate connections to other community support services
  • organise appointments and/or transport with appropriate services; and
  • advise on the importance of following care plans, for example assisting patients to participate in regular reviews with their GP or recommended follow up appointments with allied health or specialists.

Supplementary Services 

ITC has a flexible pool of funds that can be used to assist clients receiving care coordination. The funds can be used to improve access to medical specialist and Allied Health services that are in accordance with the client's GP care plan.

Care Coordinators have access to a Supplementary Services Funding Pool when they need to expedite a patient’s access to an urgent and essential Allied Health or specialist service, or necessary transport to access the service, where this is not publicly available in a clinically acceptable timeframe.

The Supplementary Services Funding Pool can also be used to assist patients to access some GP approved medical aids.

Outreach Work

Outreach Workers are a component of the ITC Program to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access health services and help to ensure that services are culturally competent. They have strong links to the community they work in.

The Aboriginal Outreach Worker provides non-clinical services including the following:

  • Information and resources about locally available health services
  • Referrals to culturally appropriate health care providers and services
  • Information and assistance with travel options to and from health appointments
  • Support when attending health appointments, including; GPs, specialists, allied health providers and diagnostic tests
  • Assistance with effective communication between yourself and the health care provider
  • Information about local community services and activities

 

ITC Activity is provided by South Eastern Sydney LHD, Sydney LHD and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. All services provided through ITC are funded through CESPHN, and there are no direct costs to patients.

For more information about ITC

South Eastern Sydney LHD

Phone: 9540 8181

Email: seslhd-seahc@health.nsw.gov.au


Sydney LHD

Phone: 1300 722 276

Email: SLHD-ACTCallCentre@health.nsw.gov.au

 

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

Phone: 9382 1055

Email: SCHN-SCH-CARPAHeads@health.nsw.gov.au

Follow-Up Allied Health Services (Items 81300-81360)

Available to any Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patient who has received a health check, and the need for allied health services was identified. Maximum 5 services per year.

Includes:

  • Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Diabetes Education
  • Audiology
  • Podiatry
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Chiropractic
  • Dietetics
  • Osteopathy
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Physiotherapy

Referral to Allied Health for Follow Up Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Factsheet
Follow-up Allied Health Services for People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Descent (MBS Items 81300-81360) Fact Sheet

Referral to Allied Health Template
Indigenous follow up referral form

Useful websites and information

Aboriginal Employment Strategy
Address: 1-9 Glebe Point Rd Glebe.
Phone: 8571 0999
Services: A not-for-profit organisation that specialises in placing and mentoring Aboriginal people into employment


Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council
Phone: 9212 4777
Address: Level 3, 66 Wentworth Avenue SURRY HILLS NSW 2010
Area Served: NSW
Services: Advisory service on Aboriginal health and medical services, community information.


Aboriginal Medical Service
Address: 36 Turner Street REDFERN NSW 2016
Phone: 9319 5823
Email: amsredfern@amsredfern.org.au
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 9amto 6pm & Friday: 10am to 5pm
Services: Counselling, diabetes, HACC services, HIV/AIDS, sexual assault, health education, aged care services and Aboriginal health services.
Target Group: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Addicts, Carers, People with Disability, Housebound, Older People


Aboriginal Mental Health Services
Contact: Aboriginal Mental Health Worker, Camperdown Community Mental Health Services
Address: Level 5, King George V Building, Missenden Rd Camperdown
Phone: 9515 5000
Area Served: Suburbs of Redfern, Waterloo, Alexandria, Darlington, Chippendale, Erskineville, Newtown (part), Camperdown, Annandale, Glebe, Forest Lodge, Ultimo, Pyrmont, Rozelle, Lilyfield, Leichhardt, Balmain and Birchgrove


Aged Care & Rehabilitation
Contact: Referral & Information Centre (Northern Cluster – SSWAHS)
Phone: 1800 556 533 or 9767 5200
Services: For health service and other information on assistance and services for elderly people in the Ashfield, Burwood, Camperdown, Concord,  Canterbury, Canada Bay, Marrickville, Strathfield, Leichhardt and parts of Sydney LGA


Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is a web resource that informs practice and policy in Indigenous health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. The HealthInfoNet is not a provider of health services, nor does it provide crisis support. If you require urgent help, please contact: 

  • Lifeline Australia 131 114
  • Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Care Coordinators: Vanessa Collins, Rhondda Glasson Phone: 8752 4911

Centrelink
Contact: Indigenous Services Unit
Phone: 9243 3429
Indigenous Call Centre: 13 6380
Address: 140 Redfern Street REDFERN NSW 2016
Services: Advocacy, support for Centrelink Indigenous clients in the East and Western areas of Sydney to access to: education, employment and training. Community, engagement and building partnerships.


Community Health Centre - Redfern
Phone: 9515 3150
Contact: Aboriginal Health Worker, Community Nursing
Address: Redfern Community Health Centre, 1 Albert St, Redfern
Services: Generalist community nursing providing assessment, referral and direct care services to people in their own homes.


First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)
Phone: 8399 0882
Address: 402/161 Redfern St, Redfern
Services: Brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in an attempt to address the high degree of unmet need for Aboriginal people with a disability.
Area Serviced: NSW


Home and Community Care (HACC) Program – Inner West
HACCaims to provide basic maintenance and support services for frail older people, younger people with disabilities and the carers of both of these groups, so they can be independent and live at home for as long as possible.


Housing NSW
General Inquiries 24 hr on 1300 468 746
Target Group: Low income earners, pensioners and people with disabilities from18 years who are unable to secure and retain accommodation in the private market

Address: Level 7, 52 Railway Parade, Burwood
Phone: 8372 4700

Address: Ground Floor, 219- 241 Cleveland Street, Redfern
Phone: 9268 3444


Housing Pathways NSW
Temporary Accommodation Line: 1800 155 152
Aboriginal Housing Information Service: 1800 727 555


Hospital Services - Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Contact: Aboriginal Liaison Officer (Male and Female)
Phone: 9515 9278 (male) & 9515 9277 (female)
Address: Level 6 KGV Building Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road CAMPERDOWN NSW 2050
Services: Advocacy, Counselling, support for Aboriginal patients, liaison with registered nurses, social workers and discharge planners

Royal Prince Alfred Sexual Health Clinic
Contact: Aboriginal Health Worker
Phone: 9515 3131
Address: Page Building, Level 5, Missenden Road, CAMPERDOWN NSW 2050
Services: Sexual health clinics including screening and vaccinations for sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS services, counselling, Aboriginal health centres and women’s health centres Target Group: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders


Indigenous Men's Sexual Health
Phone: 9515 5297
Address: Ground floor Building 12, Missenden Road, CAMPERDOWN NSW2050
Services: Promotion of Indigenous men’s sexual health, health education, Community information services, aboriginal health centres.
Area Served: Sydney Inner West HACC
Target Groups: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders males


Inner West Aboriginal Community Corporation (IWACC)
Phone: 9572 7066
Address: 182 Livingstone Rd, MARRICKVILLE
Services: Domestic assistance, transport and personal care, information on Home and Community Care Services and In home respite service provides carers with a few hours of respite each week
Target Group: Aboriginal people who are frail aged (over 45 years) or have a disability.


Psychological Support Services (PSS)
PSS provides FREE short term face-to-face psychological services to people in identified underserviced and/or hard to reach populations who live, work or go to school in the Central and Eastern Sydney region with a diagnosable mild to moderate mental illness, who may benefit from short term treatment, and are unable to access other available services including Better Access (Medicare subsidised psychological services).


Salvation Army Community Service Centres
Address: 30 Anglo Road, Campsie
Phone: 9787 2333


 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
Office: 221 London Circuit Canberra City ACT 2601
Postal:  PO Box 5120 Braddon ACT 2612 
Phone: 6246 9300
Fax: 6248 0744


Wyanga Aboriginal Aged Care Program
Contact: Client Services Officer
Phone: 9319 7175
Address: 33 Cope Street REDFERN NSW2012
Target Group: Aboriginal people over 45 years and carers.
Services: Aged care services, home care and health services


 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments - barriers to improving uptake

 Kehoe, H., Lovett, R. W. 2008