New team targets chronic disease

Midwest Times
The Integrated Chronic Disease Care Team begin to make themselves known in the region.
Camera IconThe Integrated Chronic Disease Care Team begin to make themselves known in the region. Credit: Letitia Busniak, Midwest Times

The Mid West, Gascoyne and Murchison have already started to benefit from the newly formed Integrated Chronic Disease Care Team, which began working throughout the regions last month.

The team of health professionals has already made its presence known in Carnarvon, working to improve the management of residents living with chronic diseases.

The team will regularly visit remote towns and work to reduce the rate of preventable hospitalisations for people with chronic conditions.

The Panaceum Group has been contracted by the WA Primary Health Alliance Country to work with allied health professionals and implement the service.

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WAPHA Mid West regional manager Jodie Green said the new services would improve the health of those who were geographically vulnerable.

“We will basically work from the top right down to the bottom, visiting a number of remote communities and towns,” she said.

“The team will work on top of existing services and assist in co-ordinating the care of these patients, all while making sure their local GP is centric to their management.

“It’s basically providing people with the best access to care wherever they live.”

The team will focus on working with patients with chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiology or respiratory conditions.

The care team arose from the results of a 2016 population health needs assessment, which revealed diabetes complications as a leading cause for people presenting to hospital emergency departments in the Mid West. The report revealed possible preventable hospitalisation rates for chronic conditions were 5.6 times higher for Aboriginal people than they were for non-Aboriginal people from the Mid West.

Ms Green said it was too early to tell how successful the program would be.

“The new services are a result of meaningful collaboration with GPs, our regional clinical commissioning committee and other key partners and stakeholders to ensure the needs of local communities within the Mid West, Gascoyne and Murchison regions are met,” she said.

A referral from a GP is required to be part of the program.

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