Mr Peter Young1, Miss Natalie Papallo1
1Western NSW Local Health District, Orange, Australia
Orange Health Service (OHS) is reasonably well equipped with specialised equipment, yet this pool is poorly managed, stored and maintained, resulting in inefficiencies, inappropriate prescriptions and unnecessary hiring of external equipment.
Planned and unplanned admissions of bariatric patients are becoming more prevalent, representing an increased risk to the organisation in terms of staff and patient injury, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and cost of service (increased staffing, increased length of stay, greater need for specialised training).
In 2017, a Bariatric Interest Group was formed via expression of interest to staff with 12 members and an executive sponsor.
This group is currently being transformed into a Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Consultancy Service which will provide individualised assessments and recommendations regarding the appropriate manual handling and equipment needs of all bariatric patients entering OHS. This service is accessed via a referral hotline (alpha numeric phone number is B-A-R-I or 2274) and backed up overnight and weekends by clear guidelines around the handling and equipment needs of new patients until a formal assessment by the team is performed.
There is potential for this consultancy service to be replicated in the other two base hospital facilities within Western NSW Local Health District, with peripheral facilities to be supported via Telehealth. A common loan pool of specialised equipment is also being investigated which will accessible by all facilities. These strategies will ensure that patients with specialised needs will be assessed, treated and handled in a more consistent and equitable manner across the District.
Peter Young is the Physiotherapy Head of Department at Orange Health Service. Starting his career at Bathurst Base Hospital in 1998, he relocated to work in London and Cardiff for five years, before returning to the Central West of NSW in 2005. Peter was the Physiotherapist – Senior Clinician in Acute Care for 8 years, before becoming the Head of Department in 2014. He has an interest in bariatrics and early mobilisation in ICU. Peter is currently participating in the Executive Clinical Leadership Program with the CEC.
Natalie Papallo started her career as a new graduate rotational physiotherapist at Orange Health Service in 2014, and became the Physiotherapist – Senior Clinician in Acute Care in 2017. Natalie has a keen interest student education, orthopaedics and early mobilisation in ICU