Collaboration is the New Black

Tammy Harvey, Hobart District Nursing Service

The Consultant Community and Aged Care Nurse Practitioner service brings together the skills, knowledge, leadership and experience of 2 Endorsed Nurse Practitioners (NP) not only from different backgrounds but also different organisations. One NP comes from an Emergency and Critical Care background and works for an organisation that includes a team of community nurses and community support workers amongst its resources. The other comes from an Aged Care and Dementia Management background and has a full multidisciplinary team at her disposal. The aim is to provide community and home based health and well-being services to older people living within the community or Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) around Hobart. The service will consist of 3 critical arms – Review; Reactive; and Proactive, and will deliver a rapid response service that supports hospital avoidance initiatives and early discharge programs.

With such a comprehensive list of goals, the marrying of resources from their respective organisations is crucial to the development of the service, including its brand and its ultimate success. Success will bring  improved access to primary care services for community dwellers and residents of RACFs  where  currently there is  limited capacity; improved access to wound care and aged care specialist services;  improved communication and coordination of care between primary care providers and specialist services; and improved education and support for RACF staff and other stakeholders, such as GPs, community nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists in the areas of wound care, falls assessment, end of life care, and management of minor injuries and illnesses.  An impressive feat in what may be an anxious time as we transition to Consumer Directed Care and changes to the Health System in Tasmania. This will be collaborative approach, working to provide real choice in human centric, community and aged care services in Southern Tasmania.

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