Developing intentional interprofessional practice on the West Coast

Miss Jane George1,3, Ms Brittany Jenkins1, Dr Cameron Lacey1,2

1West Coast District Health Board, Greymouth, New Zealand, 2University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand, 3Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand


Aim/Objectives: To develop workforce and stakeholder awareness, organisational policy, pathways, and strategy for the West Coast rural health workforce in terms of interprofessional practice which supports workforce sustainability and high quality care.

Background: An initial group of WCDHB Clinical Leaders and Educators met in November2017 to start exploring Interprofessional Practice (IPP) and Education (IPE) on the Coast, including creating a shared understanding of what IPP/IPE is and what it is not.

The kaupapa of this roopu is to develop a West Coast wide strategy for promoting and implementing interprofessional concepts regarding ways of working and learning.

Methods and emerging findings: Following the formation of this Interprofessional Education Roopu, surveys were undertaken to gauge the level of understanding across the workforce about Interprofessional practice, to gain a benchmark for our programme of work. Information was gathered on the range of interprofessional activities being undertaken, and education sessions were held to introduce the concept of interprofessional practice.

Conclusions: It is recognised that in rural settings, interprofessional practice is common, if unrecognised as such. Developing a visible programme of interprofessional education, working in partnership with professional bodies and education providers will allow the WCDHB to strengthen and formalise this fundamental aspect of care.


Jane George is a Registered Clinical Social Worker and Associate Director of Allied Health, Scientific and Technical Workforces at the West Coast DHB.  Her Master of Social Welfare examined effective supports for those who frequently attend Emergency Departments and her Doctor of Health Science research will explore the challenges and opportunities for the recruitment and retention of Allied Health staff in rural and remote areas.  Jane is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management, and a contributor and reviewer for the Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work journal.

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