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DAY TWO: Friday, 9 November

Review of Rural & Remote Health Workforce Innovation & Reform Strategy

Etienne Scheepers Executive Director Innovation & Reform, HWA

  • Update on HWA activities and its four work streams.
  • Update – workforce innovation & reform: 70 projects running across Australia.
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander programs – flagship program is the up-skilling of Aboriginal health workers to Aboriginal health practitioners Looking for providers who can do the gap analysis and provide training to those interested. Quite challenging – intention to provide training as close as possible to person.
  • Aged care workforce reform. What is the appropriate workforce, how can we achieve outcomes? Have appropriate interaction between sectors. Safe medication management; prevention of functional decline; building capacity; building capacity to deliver coordination of care within the community. Looking at innovative and different workforce models how to best address issues. Evaluation underway. A lot of innovation happening but not applied consistently. Difficult to pick up innovative idea, no ‘innovative toolkit.’
  • Expanded scope of practice. A number of sites implementing advanced practice roles. Nursing advance practice (emergency, paediatric, mental health, rural/regional care); expanded scope practice role for physiotherapists; extending the scope of paramedics where they do not pick up and transport to hospital but provide care under supervision of medical practitioner; physician assistant trial, Medical Generalist pathway – big theme in work being planned, clear in evidence; allied health generalists.
  • FRAME comments around HWA proposed national mechanism. Historically difficult for colleges centrally to drive regional agenda. Rural Clinical Schools have the knowledge to broker arrangements regionally.
  • Health practitioner prescribing pathway for practitioners other than medical practitioners. Pathway will be going out for consultation. Looking at the safety quality overlay, other requirements? Draft document on the HWA website.
  • Mental health program – looking at peer workforce, how to better develop & utilise peer workforce. Mental health practice standards under review, agreement to be developed, for competencies for mental health professionals.
  • Competency – one project is developing national competency framework. Means different things to different people. National leadership framework. Document to set up core competencies needed at all levels for health practitioners. Testing phase with education service providers on proposed competency report. Useful in looking at curriculum setting, describing roles, looking at competencies required for a sustainable health system.
  • HWA Inspire 2012 Conference – sold out. Need and program is seen as useful.
  • Draft National Rural Health Workforce Strategy       - 38 consultation visits across rural Australia. HWA is interested in feedback – are we hitting mark in terms of focus? What is most important? What did we miss? What advice is there for implementation of strategies? Happy to take general comments, via form, or email directly.
  • There were questions about HWA funding for clinical placements and future sustainability. Etienne Sheepers explained that the current Agreement ends in June 2013 and forward plans will reflect outcomes from the Review of Health Workforce Programs and other reviews. HWA is planning to continue but governance arrangements could change as well as scope.