Kids with complex health needs will have better access to specialists from today with the announcement of a statewide care team that will help families across Queensland.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the new Connected Care Program aimed to improve access to quality care for every young person regardless of where they lived, and delivered on the Queensland Government’s election promise to revitalise frontline services.
“This key initiative of Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service’s expanded statewide role will ensure a child’s care is managed seamlessly across acute, community and primary healthcare sectors,” Mr Springborg said.
“Streamlining care will reduce the risk of issues being missed, and ensure that treatment for multiple conditions is properly integrated. Put simply, it will result in better care for children with complex and chronic conditions.”
Mr Springborg said that careful planning for the child was also top of mind as the Government reduced the associated costs of healthcare imposed on families.
“This $3.7m commitment in 2014-15 will deliver improved clinical outcomes for Queensland’s sickest kids and save these families valuable time and money,” he said.
“It’s a Can-Do approach and another example of fixing the health system mess of the previous Labor government.
“A personal care plan is developed for each child in the program that is immediately available to all members of a child’s healthcare team, meaning a family doesn’t have to recount a child’s complex medical history and healthcare journey to multiple care providers.
“Better coordinated care will also reduce the delays, disruption to family lives and frustration that have historically been associated with caring for a child with complex care needs.”
Newly appointed care coordinators from Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, Brisbane (four positions) and the Gold Coast gathered at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) today for a series of workshops and educational courses.
Interim care coordination services will also be provided to the Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Hervey Bay until permanent recruitment is finalised at the end of May.
The regional care coordinators will be supported by a Brisbane-based team responsible for ensuring all eligible children are identified while also providing education, mentoring and outreach support.
Children’s Health Queensland Board Chair Susan Johnston said the Connected Care Program could help an estimated 6,500 children and their families across the state.
“Children in rural and regional areas are often disadvantaged when it comes to accessing specialist children’s services,” Ms Johnston said.
“These children, especially those with complex conditions, may need to see several different specialists and make multiple visits to Brisbane or another major regional hospital to receive the services they need.”
“This can be disruptive and emotionally draining for the child, as well as the parents, especially if they have to see different care providers every time and have no familiar face to turn to.”
“Our care coordinators will help children and their parents navigate the various services more effectively, reducing stress and confusion for families, and ensuring better integration between care providers.
Connected Care Program
- Specialist appointments will be coordinated and streamlined
- A key initiative of Children’s Health Queensland’s $3.7m statewide commitment in 2014-15 to improve care for Queensland children.
- Comprehensive care plan for each child – so ‘stories’ do not have to be re-told
- Coordinated access to psychosocial and welfare support across providers
Coordinated travel and accommodation support