- World-first virtual healthcare training trial
- Purple House HESTA Excellence Award finalist
- Homelessness affects children’s health
- NT 2021 Australian of the Year Award nominees
- Massive disparity in stressful life events
- Call to address key drivers of suicide
- Updated mental health resources for GPs
- Prevalence of alcohol dependence
- Respect for health workforce transforms health care
- Are you an LGBT inclusive service provider?
- Kidney news, advances and innovations webinars
- Scholarships available for CDM training
- Job Alerts
World-first virtual healthcare training trial
Training for healthcare workers is about to go virtual for the first time as part of a new partnership between industry, TAFE and NSW Health. Learning how to take a blood test will no longer need to be done in a real health setting. Instead, trainees including doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and Indigenous health workers will be able to learn the procedure while fully immersed in a virtual hospital, including sound effects such as blipping machines.
The NSW government said the virtual reality training technology was a world first that would be piloted in a yet-to-be named regional hospital. The virtual reality blood testing pilot was developed by TAFE NSW with NSW Health Pathology, CognitiveVR and diagnostic solutions company Werfen. Healthcare workers will use a virtual reality headset to learn “hands-on” blood testing. The simulation aims to provide healthcare professionals across the state, including in regional and remote areas, with greater access to hands-on training scenarios, ultimately increasing the quality of care while also reducing time away from clinical care.
To read the full article in The Sydney Morning Herald click here.
Purple House HESTA Excellence Award finalist
Purple House is one of six finalists in the Outstanding Organisation category of the HESTA 2020 community services awards. Purple House has been recognised for getting Indigenous dialysis patients home to country and providing a home away from home in Alice Springs. Purple House is an innovative Indigenous-owned and run health service operating from a base in Alice Springs. It runs dialysis units in 18 remote communities across the NT, WA and SA, and a mobile dialysis unit called the Purple Truck and has a focus on getting patients back home so families and culture remain strong.
Before Purple House, patients were forced to leave country and move far away for dialysis, leaving communities without elders to share knowledge and families disrupted. Many patients are now home but there are still communities without dialysis and patients who need to live short or long term in Alice Springs. Purple House’s base in Alice also offers primary health care, allied health, wellbeing, aged care, NDIS and a bush medicine social enterprise.
Homelessness affects children’s health
Seven new Flinders University research projects have been funded by the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, including support for special studies to help homeless, at-risk, migrant and autistic children and Indigenous health. Nurse practitioners working with social service agencies is one way to help the estimated 22% of Australian children living in temporary or precarious living conditions, with families hit hard by unemployment and other problems created by the pandemic. These children – some skipping health checks, vaccinations and even nutritional meals – may not have regular doctor appointments, and poorer access to health services, leading to more physical and mental health issues and emergency department presentations.
To view the full article click here.
NT 2021 Australian of the Year Award nominees
The NT’s 2021 Australian of the Year Awards has four categories: Australian of the Year; Senior Australian of the Year; Young Australian of the Year; and NT Local Hero. Many of the 16 (2021) nominees are being recognised for their work in Aboriginal services, including Dorrelle Anderson – first Aboriginal Executive Director for Territory Families; Megan Hoosan – subject of documentary In My Blood It Runs; Dr Wendy Page – global expert in Aboriginal health; Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM – Aboriginal activitist, educator and artist; Matthew Axten – educator and mentor; Stuart McGrath – Aboriginal health practitioner; and Reanna Sanders – founder of Auntys Free Feeds.
To read more about each of the nominees click here.
Massive disparity in stressful life events
New research from a Charles Darwin University PhD graduate has found Indigenous Australians are six times more likely to experience stressful events in their lives compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Menzies School of Health Research Dr Belinda Davison undertook an 18-month study, which investigated “Chronic Stress Exposure and Emotional Wellbeing in Australian Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Young Adults”. Dr Davison found Indigenous adults living in remote and urban areas had experienced an average of six stressful events during their lives, compared to non-Indigenous adults who suffered from just one event. “Our Indigenous cohort whether they were in Darwin or in a remote community were much more likely to experience stressful events in their lives,” Dr Davison said.
To view the related news article click here.
Call to address key drivers of suicide
Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-49 in Australia and the latest national data reveals suicide rates are on the rise. UniSA Chair in Mental Health Nursing, Professor Nicholas Procter, says more needs to be done to address the key drivers of suicide. In SA the age standardised suicide rate has jumped from 12.0 per 100,000 in 2018 to 13.9 per 100,000 in 2019. “The research is there; we know a lot about key factors that both contribute to suicide or are indicators of vulnerability to suicide – financial distress, insecure housing, discrimination, childhood trauma, alcohol and drug abuse,” Professor Proctor said, and “These issues need to be given a higher priority at critical touch points within and beyond the health system if we are to turn around the suicide statistics.” The 2019 data released this week – which does not reflect the impact of COVID-19 or the 2020 bushfires – shows a jump from 8.6 Australian lives lost from suicide every day, to 9.1 a day. Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-49.
To read the full article click here.
Updated mental health resources for GPs
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed updated resources to support GPs managing rising mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RACGP is a member of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) which has just published revised versions of the GP Mental Health Treatment Plans (MHTPs) templates. It comes as GPs across the nation are dealing with increasing mental health presentations. Recent Medicare data showed a 15% increase in Medicare-subsidised mental health services since 16 March, with 7.4 million services provided. This was magnified in Victoria, with the number of subsidised mental health items increasing by 31% between September and October, compared to the same period last year.
To view the RACGP’s media release click here.
Prevalence of alcohol dependence
Alcohol affects Indigenous communities globally that have been colonised. The effects are physical, psychological, financial and cultural. A systematic review What is the prevalence of current alcohol dependence and how is it measured for Indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America? aims to describe the prevalence of current (12-month) alcohol dependence in Indigenous Peoples in Australia, NZ, Canada and the USA, to identify how it is measured, and if tools have been validated in Indigenous communities. Such information can help inform estimates of likely treatment needs.
A systematic review abstract click here.
Respect for health workforce transforms health care
Improving health outcomes for Indigenous people by strengthening the cultural safety of care is a vital challenge for the health sector, both in Australia and internationally. Although Indigenous people have long requested to have Indigenous practitioners involved in their health care, many health services report difficulties with recruiting and retaining Indigenous staff. A research paper “We’re very much part of the team here”: A culture of respect for Indigenous health workforce transforms Indigenous health care describes Indigenous workforce policies and strategies from two Australian health services, as well as cancer-service specific strategies.
To view the research paper click here.
Are you an LGBT inclusive service provider?
Many health, human and wellbeing organisations claim they “welcome everyone” or “treat everyone the same” regardless of who they are, how they identify, their culture, religion, gender and sexuality. But the reality is they haven’t actively checked that their services are inclusive, safe or even welcoming to many communities, including LGBT people. A free resource is available to assist organisations measure their LGBTQ-inclusion: the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). For more information about the HWEI Index and surveys click here and here. This unique tool is available to every organisation free of chargeand is available on the ACON Pride Inclusion Program website.
Kidney news, advances and innovation webinars
The Kidney News, Advances & Innovations webinar series which aims to provide a digital platform for international scientific exchange in Nephrology care commences tomorrow. Designed and led by a prominent faculty of international experts and chaired by Professor Pollock, this series of 3 live webinars from 29 Oct–2 Nov 2020 (listed below) opens firstly by bringing home the key highlights and hot topics of ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined, and secondly provides a collaborative perspective from endocrinology and nephrology regarding the optimised management of people with diabetes and kidney disease. It wraps up with a review of innovations in 2020 and beyond, from breakthrough HIF science to novel therapies in CKD and futuristic perspectives.
Kidney News: ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined Highlights – 8.00–9.30 pm AEDT Thurs 29 Oct or 8.00–9.30 am AEDT Fri 30 Oct
Kidney Advances: Intersection between CKD and Diabetes in 2020 – 9.00–10.00 pm Wed 4 Nov or 9.00–10.00 am Thurs 5 Nov
Innovations in Nephrology 2020 and Beyond –8.00–9.30 pm AEDT Wed 11 Nov or 8.00–9.30 am AEDT Thurs 12 Nov
For further information click here.
Scholarships available for CDM training
You may be eligible for Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) funding for online Chronic Disease Management training in your practice. This can be delivered individually or to the entire clinical team. The HWSP provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in rural and remote Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. It is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals providing primary health care in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sector, non-government organisations and private practice. The HWSP is an inititiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in:
- Queensland by Health Workforce Queensland
- NSW by NSW Rural Doctors Network
- WA by Rural Health West
- Victoria by Rural Workforce Agency Victoria
- SA by Rural Doctors Workforce Agency
- the NT by NT PHN – Rural Workforce Agency
- Tas by HR+
Contact your relevant Rural Workforce Agency for details and eligibility criteria.
AMSANT wants WA border reopened
The NT’s peak body for Aboriginal health services has renewed its call for WA to be reopened to the NT so long-separated families can reunite. The NT and WA share a border across thousands of kms from Central Australia to the northern gateway to the Kimberley. Many of these crossings are key links between cross-state remote Aboriginal communities and family groups. John Paterson, the chief executive of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT, said WA’s prolonged closure was “putting enormous strain on families, particularly those who reside in Kununurra and may want to come over to the NT for the Christmas break. We’ve always advocated that we would support a bubble between NT and WA, given our effectiveness with keeping the numbers down [and] I think it’d be safe for a bubble between the NT and Western Australia.”
To read the full article click here.
NT – Darwin – Danila Dilba Health Service
Danila Dilba Health Service is going through a dynamic period of expansion and growth and as a result of the robust growth in services and in order to meet increasing client need, they are looking for people to join the team and be part of delivering important services to the Darwin and Palmerston region. The roles listed below are at the core of Danila Dilba’s services and critical in ensuring delivery of culturally safe, comprehensive primary health care services.
Clinic Team Leader (Bagot Clinic)
Community Connections Worker
Family Partnership Worker
General Practitioner (Malak Clinic)
ICT Trainee (Corporate Services)
Indigenous Outreach Worker (Rapid Creek Clinic)
Indigenous Outreach Worker (Youth Justice)
NDIS Support Worker
Across Australia (except Vic & Tas) – Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
2021 Census Engagement Manager x 35 (25 in remote areas, 10 in urban/regional locations)
The ABS is recruiting Census Engagement Managers for the 2021 Census. Due to the close working relationship with the community, 35 Census Engagement Manager positions will be only open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants. Census Engagement Managers are specialised roles requiring a high degree of community interaction. They will be working within communities telling people about the Census and ensuring everyone can take part and get the help they need. Where possible, Census Engagement Managers will be recruited locally. To view a recruitment poster click here.
For further information on the roles and to apply click here.
Applications for Census Engagement Manager roles are open now and close Thursday 5 November 2020.