The role of mainstream General Practice 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 Community Controlled Health Services, including Aboriginal Medical Services to support improved Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.

 

Identifying patients of Aboriginal descent

Aboriginal people experience significantly poorer health than that of non-Aboriginal people and are at higher risk of developing certain chronic disease. Identification ensures health care needs can be appropriately met. Practice staff and GPs can support Aboriginal patients to self-identify, which is the essential first step in providing specific health services. A patient is considered to be of Aboriginal descent if they identify as being so. Appearance is not a reliable way of determining cultural identity. Routine identification can be assisted through:

  • staff cultural awareness training
  • improved understanding of the need for and the benefits of health assessments
  • culturally appropriate resources in the waiting room
  • staff being confident when asking patients the question (of ethnic origin) and explaining its importance. An appropriate way to ask is:

"Are you of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent?"

Alternatively, staff may feel more comfortable using a less direct line of questioning, which can then open the conversation for future enquiry. For example:

"Do you identify with a particular cultural background?"

A RACGP fact sheet on identification of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander patients can be viewed at: RACGP 3rd Edition Standards Fact Sheet for Identification of Patients.

Health assessments

Health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People – MBS Item 715

Medical practitioners providing a health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should use MBS Item 715. This MBS health assessment item has no designated time or complexity requirements. The length of the health assessment will be at the medical practitioner's discretion. MBS Item 715 should be used for health assessments for the following age groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are less than 15 years old
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who are aged 15 years and over but under the age of 55 years
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people who are aged 55 years and over
  • Healthy Kids Check provided by a practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner – MBS Item 1098
    The MBS health assessment for a Healthy Kids Check provided by a practice nurse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner on behalf of a medical practitioner is provided under MBS Item 10986.

NACCHO guide to a Preventative health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

MBS Item 715 (Health Assessment) Factsheet - Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (MBS ITEM 715)

Health Assessment Proformas:

Brochures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments information

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments for GP and health professionals

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Worker Program

 

715 sharkies

The Deadly Choices program through the Cronulla Sharks are holding a promotion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clients in the CESPHN region.

Clients whom have had a 715 health check in the past 6 months may be eligible for a Sharks Deadly Choices shirt, GP's are encouraged to fill in the attached pdf form (317 KB) with clients and can send it through  to the Cronulla Sharks who will contact client and send shirt to them.

 

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Copayment Measure

 

The Government has introduced assistance to eliminate or lower the cost of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines for Aboriginal patients living with, or at risk of, chronic disease. The PBS Co-payment measure is a response to identifying that cost is a significant barrier to accessing medicines for Aboriginal people. Additional information on the Measure is available at the Department of Human Services' Closing the Gap website.

Forms for the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive and PBS Co-Payment Measure:

Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Indigenous Health Incentive (IHI)

The Practice Incentive (PIP) Indigenous Health Incentive is aimed at supporting general practice, as well as Aboriginal health services to provide a comprehensive range of health services to Aboriginal people with chronic health problems. Financial incentives are arranged into 3 components that are based upon the level of care provided. Practices participating in the incentive will also have increased access to supporting health services for their patients. More information on the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive can be accessed at:

Practices registered for the Indigenous Health Practice Incentive Program

Practices registered for the Indigenous Health Practice Incentive Program

Please select the first letter of a suburb that is nearest to you: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Currently under construction.

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

CESPHN funded Aboriginal Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing Programs

 

 

Youth Health and Wellbeing Program - La Perouse
Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council has two Health and Wellbeing Coordinators to engage with and support young people aged 12-25 years. Coordinators help young people access culturally appropriate mainstream services to address their health and wellbeing needs.
Enquiries: 9311 4282 Email: admin@laperouse.org.au

 


Youth Outreach Program
headspace Ashfield provides outreach support and link Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young peoples to local and culturally appropriate services and programs.
Enquiries: 9193 8000 Website: www.headspace.org.au/headspacecentres/ashfield/


 

Youth Health and Wellbeing Program - Inner City
Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation has two Health and Wellbeing Coordinators to engage with and support young people aged 12-25 years. Coordinators help young people access culturally appropriate mainstream services to address their health and wellbeing needs.
Enquiries: 9699 3491 Email: info@tribalwarrior.org

 


 

Psychological Support Services

PSS provides FREE short-term face to face psychological services for underserviced groups. Services are delivered by appropriately trained and qualified mental health professionals including: Psychologists (general and clinical), mental health nurses, mental health accredited social workers, mental health accredited occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workers. To find out more – Click here

 


 

Drug and Alcohol Support Services and Programs
  • Weave Youth and Community Services: 'Speak Out' Dual Diagnosis ProgramCare coordination, counselling, information and referral support and group activities for young people with mental health and drug and alcohol support needs. Drop-in centre.
    Enquiries: 9318 0539 Website: www.weave.org.au
  • Drug and alcohol program – Community Restorative Centre

    Provides holistic outreach-based rehabilitation to support community reintegration on release from custody. Accessible via a Service and Programs Officer (SAPO), parole officer or case-manager. Enquiries: 9288 8700 Website: www.crcnsw.org.au
  • Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program

    What is the AMS Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program?

    The Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programme provides culturally appropriate non-residential treatment programmes, pharmacotherapies, counselling, referral services and aftercare.

The AMS provides a range of services including:

  • Client focused health promotion including harm minimisation advice
  • Infectious disease screening and contact tracing
  • General primary medical care
  • Counselling for drug and alcohol issues
  • Methadone maintenance and buprenorphine out-patient detoxification and maintenance pharmacotherapy treatment programs
  • Outpatient rehabilitation services
  • Outreach counselling
  • Referral services
  • Dual diagnosis management in conjunction with AMS general medical, psychiatry and psychology clinics

Eligibility

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that are registered patients/clients of the service and their families.
  • Clients over 18 who present with substance use.

How to access the service?Self-referral or via an allied health service.Contact DetailsAboriginal Medical Centre
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program
36 Turner Street, Redfern, NSW 2016. 
Phone: (02) 93195823
Website: http://amsredfern.org.au/

  • We Help Ourselves (WHOS) withdrawal management

What is the Withdrawal Management service?WHOS deliver an innovative community based ambulatory model of Withdrawal Management care for low-to-moderate withdrawal needs. This service is based at the WHOS Rozelle site for people who present for admission to the WHOS Residential Programs. It provides clients with support for detoxification before entering further treatment with WHOs, within a community-based environment with access to support from the existing day programs.CESPHN also fund identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer positions at WHOs, who work across the day residential programs to provide culturally appropriate support.EligibilityClients will be assessed for suitability to the WHOS Withdrawal Management program or may be referred for hospital detoxification.How to access the service?Self-referral, via an allied health service, by application from a general practitioner working in collaboration with SLHD or SESLHD departments/detoxes or a WHOS nurse.Contact DetailsPhone: (02) 85727444Service Manager: Carolyn Stubley (Nurse Manager) WHOS: 8572 7471
Website: https://whos.com.au/

  • Odyssey House

What is Odyssey House Community Services (OHCS) and who can use it?Odyssey House Community Services delivers a range of free alcohol and other drug (AOD) services within a holistic stepped care treatment model. The model includes aftercare support, psychosocial counselling for individuals with co-occurring substance misuse and mental health (MH) disorders with access to individual care co-ordination and counselling. Programs are flexible, evidence based, client centred, and aim to achieve positive client outcomes through an integrated approach and include:

  • Aftercare
    The Odyssey House Community Services Aftercare services are designed as a two stage AOD recovery program that a client can access at either the commencement of their treatment journey or at the end of their time in a residential AOD service or for support post relapse. The model is designed to be responsive to client needs such as education regarding substance misuse, providing relapse prevention education and care coordination that will assist with other issues such as housing, unemployment, money management and health or mental health issues. The Aftercare AOD Recovery Groups provide an accessible treatment option for clients who are under the supervision of Community Corrections or are currently engaged in a MERIT Program.
  • Psychosocial Counselling
    The psychosocial counselling services can be delivered in conjunction with aftercare services and aim to equip clients with co-occurring Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and Mental Health (MH) issues with therapeutic tools which will support and sustain their recovery. There is a Mental Health Recovery group program run over 8 weeks which is focussed on supporting clients through their treatment journey and developing strategies to build resilience and wellbeing.

Clients can also access one on one support through counselling with qualified clinicians.All services are free and a Mental Health Care Plan is not required.The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, which includes partnerships with Aboriginal organisations and aims to deliver AOD and Wellbeing Men’s and Women’s groups.Eligibility

  • Current alcohol and/or other drug dependency or history of;
  • Residing in the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN region
  • 18 and over for all programs
  • Under 18 can access for counselling only

How to access the service? Contact Odyssey House directly 1800 397 739 Website https://www.odysseyhouse.com.au/what-we-do/community-services/

 

Speech Pathology for Aboriginal Children (2-5 years)

 

The Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH) offers an Aboriginal focused speech pathology service, which aims to deliver flexible and culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal Children and their families. For more information, please contact: Lauren Hamill, Speech Pathologist Lauren.hamill@health.nsw.gov.au 9382 1172

 

Cultural Awareness Training

 

There are several resources available to assist organisations such as General Practices to assess whether their service is culturally safe. Below are resources to assist with developing a culturally safe service interested GPs and Practices.

 

 

CESPHN also facilitates regular Cultural Awareness Training CPD events for General Practitioners, Practice Nurses, Practice Staff and Allied Health Providers. Please view our events page for a list of upcoming training sessions. These events are free of charge for financial members. For more information on how to become a member see our membership page here 

 

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.


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


 Friendly Faces Helping Hands

Connecting Country People to City Health Services

Website on a range of city Health services, programs and resources.