Service Collaboration

The Aboriginal Community Health team collaborate with other departments across East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) to improve health outcomes for our Aboriginal patients. Here are some recent collaborative achievements:

Photograph of blanketsThe Aboriginal Community Health team met with the Respiratory Medicine Department at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) to determine the impact on Aboriginal patient’s health and wellbeing when admitted to hospital from rural and remote communities. On consultation with ward staff and patients, it was indicated for the comfort of patients that supplying blankets would make them feel comfortable whilst undertaking lung function tests, this would also promote cultural security to improve communication between the patient and RPH clinical staff.

Moort Care were engaged to secure volunteers to crochet/knit or sew blankets for Aboriginal patients attending RPH. Completed blankets are labelled with the service collaboration information outlining partnerships and the relevant corporate logos for EMHS and Moort Care are used. Blankets and wraps were presented to the Respiratory Medicine Department to be donated to patients when completing lung function tests, to build meaningful engagement and relationships between hospital and community.

Culturally appropriate collaborative partnerships and approaches are crucial in enhancing personal empowerment and healing. This promotes more effective and meaningful pathways to provide better service delivery within the health sector.

To improve the utility of lung function tests in Aboriginal patients and to improve inhaler technique, culturally appropriate demonstrative videos have been developed by the Respiratory medicine department and the Metropolitan Aboriginal community programs.

These videos include the most commonly performed tests in the pulmonary physiology laboratory, as well as videos on inhaler technique and spacers. The videos are demonstrated on laptops to consumers on wards, played at clinics and used as training videos for health workers at GP clinics.

For female patients

For male patients

A pathway has been developed with Pulmonary Rehabilitation to ensure clients understand the importance of the uptake of lung and exercise assessments with occupational therapists in the department.

The aim is to increase Aboriginal client capacity into Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and to raise awareness and help reduce breathing difficulties in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and lung disease patients. Resources are being developed to increase uptake of Aboriginal clients and a staff member will be available to encourage clients to attend with support and advocacy.

To alleviate insecurities surrounding the lung assessment, an exercise a video will be made of the exercise program to show to patients. A dedicated staff member has been aligned to this project to provide advocacy and support to clients attending the rehabilitation assessment and ongoing outpatient appointments.

Aboriginal childhood immunisation coverage in the Perth metropolitan region lags behind that of the total population. A proportion of Aboriginal children are missing out on the protection from infectious diseases provided by timely vaccination in their early years.

Strategies implemented by stakeholders in the metropolitan region over recent years to improve immunisation coverage in the 12 to 15 months Aboriginal age group have been unsuccessful.

As a new initiative to address this, EMHS and Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control have employed an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (AHLO) to follow up with Aboriginal families to link in for recall system reminders for immunisation.

This dedicated AHLO advocates and supports Aboriginal families with overdue children to link them into service providers including:

  • General Practice (GP)
  • Child and Adolescent Community Health (CACH)
  • Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services (DYHS)
Last Updated: 13/06/2019