NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: Improving the ED experience for kids

Improving ED experience for kids

Aboriginal children presenting to Emergency Departments (ED) are more likely to be critically unwell and need urgent care than non-Aboriginal children, new data has revealed. A study looking at presentations of Aboriginal children to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN) facilities between 2015–2020 has shown Aboriginal children are 2.2 times more likely to present to ED via ambulance compared to non-Aboriginal children and also have a higher chance of needing resuscitation and emergency response, accounting for 7.3 % of ED presentations, compared to just 5.2% in the non-Indigenous population.

The study highlights not just the inequalities that exist for Aboriginal children but also the need for consideration of the social determinants of Aboriginal health in order to Close the Gap. In the last year, SCHN has taken a number of positive steps towards improving health for Aboriginal children and their families, implementing several new programs and introducing new positions that focus on addressing Aboriginal health disparities and promoting safe, reliable and equitable healthcare for all.

Across SCHN, the Aboriginal workforce has grown by 20 staff in clinical and non-clinical roles, ranging from new graduate nurses, to cardiac concierge, through to the Aboriginal Health Outcomes and Equity Project Manager. The Aboriginal Health Outcomes and Equity Project Manager is the first role of its kind at SCHN and aims to ensure the constant delivery of high-quality, equitable services to Aboriginal children.

To view the Transforming health for a more equitable future article on The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network website click here.

Image source: ABC News.

Advance Care Planning resources

The Australian Digital Health Agency have worked closely with Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) in the lead up to Advance Care Planning (ACP) Week 21–27 March 2022 to engage consumers and healthcare providers about ACP and My Health Record. During ACP week last year, we saw a 21% increase in ACP uploads to MHR and an overall 78% increase from February to May 2021.

Last month the Australian Digital Health Agency held a workshop with consumers and carers to co-develop an ACP My Health Record Elevator Pitch which highlights the benefits and the value of uploading ACP documents to My Health Record. The ‘hero’ Elevator Pitch is Make your wishes known when you cannot speak for yourself, upload your advance care planning documents to My Health Record. Consumers and carers said this sentence would resonate the most, and will be used on the Australian Digital Health Agency website and in social media messages. Another complementary pitch that was supported is Do you want choice and certainty over what happens to you? Upload your advance care planning documents to My Health Record. This statement will also be used to support communications about ACP.

You can access the list of ADHA ACP resource information sheet here and a video for health workers illustrating culturally safe advance care planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities here.

Image source: The Conversation.

Health researcher workforce review

The Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health – University of Melbourne is undertaking a review and analysis of progress in building the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researcher workforce since 2000.

This research project is being undertaken in partnership with the Lowitja Institute and aims to identify changes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research workforce, since 2000. Investigations will chart current educational and career-pathway models and initiatives; outline how research training can be more responsive, enriching and affirming of and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers and communities; and explore new ways to increase numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers.

A strength of the proposed project is to significantly address research gaps by conducting a comprehensive review foregrounding ‘whole of system’ analysis of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researcher workforce and learn first-hand from current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers via in-depth interviews and case studies.

For more information about the project click here.

Benefits of allied health outreach program

A student outreach program run by the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) in Geraldton is providing valuable health services to primary school children in remote areas of WA while benefiting the learning needs of university students on rural placement. Now in its fifth year of operation, the long-standing partnership between WACRH and Yalgoo Primary School (YPS) sees speech pathology, OT and audiology students on rural placement with WACRH regularly visit the remote primary school.

The WACRH students set off early in the morning to drive to Yalgoo – two hours from Geraldton or one hour for university students based in Mount Magnet – for day visits to the primary school. YPS Principal Geoffrey Blyth says, “The regular visits and resulting reports form important information about our students. They test the students and I get a report usually within three days, so the information is current and useful. Every record they make we use for our teaching and learning, as well as our assessments. It gives our students something regular that is happening at our school, not just a one-off visit. So that means that the kids are completely comfortable.”

“Plus, our students get the opportunity to interact with people they would not normally interact with and that is almost as important as the tests themselves. The kids just love them because we get a group of very enthusiastic young people at our school who talk, play and interact with them. It adds a bit of vibrancy to our school.” OT student Sarah Oborne says, “It has been great to work one on one with the kids there, particularly as they do not have people come and visit the school on a regular basis. But we are there every week.”

For more information about the program click here and to read the National Rural Health Alliance Partyline article in full click here.

algoo Primary School student Angelica Simms with OT student Keely Fitzpatrick

Yalgoo Primary School student Angelica Simms with OT student Keely Fitzpatrick. Image source: NRHA Partyline.

Suicide Prevention Research Fund extended

The National Suicide Prevention Research Fund is being extended with an additional $4 million over two years to increase Australia’s world leading research into suicide prevention and treatment. In 2020, a total of 3,139 Australians died by suicide. While it represents a 5.4% reduction in the number of suicides compared to 2019 and the lowest national suicide rate since 2016, suicide remained the leading cause of death among those aged 15–44. In addition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to die by suicide at more than twice the rate of non-Indigenous people. Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said suicide has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.

To view Minister Hunt and Minister Coleman’s joint media release in full click here.

silhouette of head with exploding scrunched paper balls

Image source: eMedicneHealth website.

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you’re 45 and over, or 30 and over if you’re of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today.

Do you know what your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is? Having a regular Heart Health Check with your GP will help you better understand your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Most importantly, your GP and nurse can support you to lower this risk.  A Heart Health Check is a 20-minute check-up with your GP to assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

To view the relevant page for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Heart Foundation website click here.

Image source: Heart Foundation.

Remote PHC Manuals project March update

The Remote Primary Health Care Manuals (RPHCM) are currently being reviewed and updated, with monthly updates provided to health services and other organisations to keep them up-to-date during the review process. The most recent RPHCM update advises: sales of 2017 editions of the manuals will cease as of April 2022. The very last chance to order copies is Thursday 31 March 2022. To order download and complete the order form here. The new editions are expected to be released in October/November 2022.

Secondary reviews are schedules for April/May with the stakeholder consultations occurring concurrently.

To view the RPHCM March 2022 Project Update click here.

New process for job advertising

NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.

Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.

Purple Day

Purple Day is a global initiative dedicated to raising epilepsy awareness, dispelling myths, and increasing support to those affected. Founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, the Purple Day concept was born out of Cassidy’s own struggles with epilepsy, her motivation to get people talking about the condition, and her desire to let those impacted by seizures know that they are not alone. Cassidy named the day ‘Purple Day’ after the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy, lavender.

Since that time, Purple Day has grown into a much loved and supported national awareness day with thousands of people across Australia rallying their private, academic and corporate communities to raise much needed awareness and funds for those affected by epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects around 151,000 Australians and thousands are hospitalised by their condition each year, according to the first comprehensive report, Epilepsy in Australia, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). ‘Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures caused by a temporary disruption of the brain’s electrical activity. Epilepsy does not refer to a singular condition, but rather represents a diverse range of disorders involving many seizure types,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr. Fleur de Crespigny. ‘A diagnosis of epilepsy brings with it lifelong management, and many experience difficulties in their work, education and long-term health.’

To read the AIHW media release in full click here and to find out more about epilepsy and Purple Day visit the Epilepsy Action Australian website here.

Black Knot – White Knot seminar

The Sydney Institute is hosting a seminar, Black Knot -White Knot as part of its Tow Way Seminar Series. The Black Knot – White Knot seminar will take place online via Zoom from 9:00 AM–12:00 PM Saturday 2 April 2022.

The seminar will be delivered by the esteemed Dr Craig San Roque and Yuin man Jade Kennedy. Craig will present intercultural and transferential relationship patterns based on 30 years of experience in Black/White cross-cultural interactions in Central Australia. This has given him a unique understanding of the people he has lived and worked with. He illustrates these significant relationships through art works.

Craig will be joined by Jade Kennedy, a Yuin man from the Illawarra and South Coast of NSW and a lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Wollongong. His generous sharing of his life story is a privilege rarely encountered. Jade’s comments enhances Craig’s rich presentation and their engagement is enthralling.

Click here for more information about the seminar and to book tickets click here. In case of financial hardship you are asked to offer a small donation. All profits will be donated to the CASSE (Creating A Safe Supportive Environment) Shields for Living Tools for Life project. The Shields for Living Tools for Life An intensive program for high-risk young people in central Australia Creating Safer Communities: Back on Track – Cutting Youth Crime Plan. When you register for this event you will receive reading material to help in your preparations for the seminar.

Dr Craig San Roque & Jade Kennedy

Dr Craig San Roque. Image source: CASSE Australia. Jade Kennedy. Image source: TEDx UWollongong 2018.

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