Miss Rebecca McGrath1, Miss Emma Brady1
1Office Of Disability Katherine, Katherine, Australia
The Katherine Office of Disability’s key contact service delivery model has facilitated change in the professional skills of the allied health team, and improvement in the quality of service delivery and associated health outcomes for remote communities in the Katherine region. The key contact approach involves transdisciplinary upskilling and ongoing support of allied health professionals to provide a single point of contact for a community. This model encourages each allied health discipline to think outside the traditional boundaries of their profession and consider a more holistic approach to delivering health services in the remote context where resources are limited.
In particular this has been a huge transition for the physiotherapists on the allied health team, who previously worked in specialised areas of physiotherapy and now work in general practice across the lifespan, with the additional role as ACAT assessors. We have acquired increased knowledge, and a broader skill set that includes aspects of occupational therapy and speech pathology roles, that are traditionally outside our scope of practice.
Working in this role has not only altered our professional skills but also our perspective on the provision of culturally appropriate health services to remote communities, and the importance of acknowledging the social determinants of health.
Additionally this service delivery model has enabled the development of stronger relationships between the health service provider and the remote communities leading to increased client engagement, community empowerment to manage health needs, and generally improved health outcomes.
Rebecca has worked with the Office of Disability in Katherine for nearly two years. She has extensive experience as a Physiotherapist working in a variety of clinical areas across diverse health care settings including non-government organisations, private and public health sectors in Australia and Internationally. Over 13 years’ experience working sensitively with diverse client groups, across the whole lifespan.