Key messages

  • To support Victorian health care providers into new services the department has provided funding through the Advanced Practice in Allied Health Workforce Grant Program. 
  • 24 projects have recently been awarded funding under the 2015-16 grant program, and have commenced implementation. 
  • Expressions of Interest are being sought for the Sharing Advanced Practice in Allied Health forum, to be held in September 2016.

In common with other countries, Victoria’s health system is evolving to meet a range of challenges and opportunities. To address these, the Department of Health and Human Services has encouraged health services to grow the numbers and range of skills of the allied health sector, including through investment in advanced practice roles. 

Advanced practice roles are roles that are currently within the recognised scope of practice for a profession, but that through custom and practice have been performed by other professions. Properly designed and resourced, there is now a growing body of evidence that such roles are having a positive impact on patient care through improved access, efficiency, workforce productivity and patient experience.

Sharing Advanced Practice in Allied Health forum

The department is pleased to present two Sharing advanced practice in allied health forums, and would like to invite interested senior clinicians and managers from across the sector to attend. 

The two sessions will showcase different roles, and will outline some of the range of advanced allied health roles currently operating in the Victorian health system.

The forums will be held on:

  • Monday 12 September 2016, at 1.00pm to 4.30pm
  • Monday 3 October 2016, at 9.10am to 12.30pm

Both forums will be held at 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Access will also be available via videoconference at selected regional sites.

Please register via Eventbrite.  

For any enquiries, please contact alliedhealthworkforce@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Advanced Practice in Allied Health Workforce Grant Program

To support Victorian health care providers to establish and embed proven advanced practice roles into new services or settings the department has provided funding through the Advanced Practice in Allied Health Workforce Grant Program. This funding compliments the Allied health credentialing, competency and capability framework, which provides a platform for the safe introduction of new allied health services models, therapies, procedures and roles, including advanced practice roles.

The 2015-16 Advanced Practice in Allied Health Workforce grant program recently closed, and the department was very pleased to receive over 100 applications from across Victoria. The number and diversity of the applications reflected the excellent quality of allied health services and clinicians in Victoria, and their commitment to developing and delivering creative approaches to service delivery. 

The following projects have received funding through the program, and will be commencing shortly: 

Project name Profession Organisation
Advanced Developmental Paediatric role for community-based children with developmental delay Speech Pathology South West Healthcare
Implementation of an Advanced Physiotherapy Vestibular Assessment Clinic within ENT Specialist Clinics Physiotherapy Ballarat Health Services
Spinal Assessment Clinic - Regional Outreach Clinic Physiotherapy Ballarat Health Services
Total Contact Casting for High Risk Foot Patients Podiatry Ballarat Health Services
Taking the Pressure off Rural Foot Ulcers: a service model for advanced rural podiatry practice Podiatry Bendigo Health
High Risk Foot Service Podiatry Albury Wodonga Health
Advanced Practice  Behaviour Management in Subacute Psychology Alfred Health
Advanced Practice Psychologist Dementia: Improving the risk assessment and management of behavioural and psychological symptoms in a continuing care environment and in the transition to the discharge destination. Psychology Northern Health
Regional Community Palliative Care Partnerships- A pharmacy outreach program Pharmacy Barwon Health
Brachial Plexus Clinic Triage Coordinator Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy The Royal Children’s Hospital
Social Work InFormed Trauma (SWIFT) – A SWIFT response for early identification and intervention of childhood trauma. Social Work Austin Health
Social Work InFormed Trauma (SWIFT) – A SWIFT response for early identification and intervention of childhood trauma. Social Work Barwon Health
Social Work InFormed Trauma (SWIFT) – A SWIFT response for early identification and intervention of childhood trauma. Social Work Western Health
Podiatry endorsement program  for scheduled medicines Podiatry Melbourne Health
Endorsed Prescribing Podiatrists  Mentoring Program Podiatry Peninsula Health
Clinical placement program for advanced practice in podiatry Podiatry Western Health
Advanced Practice Gastrointestinal Dietitian to conduct primary contact screening clinics for patients on the gastroenterology waiting list. Dietetics Northern Health
Preventing Amputations in the Community Podiatry Carrington Health
Advanced Practice Social Worker in Health Social Work Merri Community Health Services
Advanced Practitioner Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist for OAHKS in Community Health Physiotherapy Manningham Community Health Service
Art Therapy for survivors of family violence Art therapy Annie North Inc.
Advanced Practice - Antenatal Family Violence Social Worker Social Work Northern Health
Social Work Advanced Services through Antenatal Services Social Work Djerriwarrh Health Services
Strengthening Hospital Responses to Children Affected by Family Violence Social Work The Royal Children’s Hospital

Projects funded through 2014-2015 grant round are listed below:

Profession Health Service Role
Audiology

Royal Children’s Hospital

Extending Advanced Audiology led clinics to further assist in managing ENT demand

Dietetics

Austin Health

Improving the pathway of care for patients with a feeding tube/stoma managed by the HEN

Dietetics

Eastern Health

Multidisciplinary care of patients receiving home enteral nutrition

Dietetics

Melbourne Health

Develop a training program and credential Dietitians to prescribe TPN

Dietetics

Northeast Health Wangaratta

Establishment of a dietitian led out-patient adult eating disorder (ED) clinic

Dietetics

Northeast Health Wangaratta

Establishment of a dietitian led out-patient Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN) clinic

Dietetics

Northern Health

Extending the scope of practice of Dietitian's in the management of gastrostomy tubes

Dietetics

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

The Peter Mac gastrostomy feeding tube credentialling program

Dietetics

St Vincent's hospital

Developing a competency program for Gastrostomy management by dietitians

Multiple professions

Melbourne Health

AH interdisciplinary practitioner role: Cancer Services - a specialist clinical role across the cancer continuum at RMH

Occupational therapy

Goulburn Valley Health

Establishment of a complex wheelchair seating clinic

Occupational therapy

Northeast Health Wangaratta

Implementation of a sustainable Upper Limb management program post stroke

Occupational therapy and Speech pathology

Royal Childrens Hospital

Advanced Practice in the Neonatal Unit: AH infant and family discharge program

Orthoptics

Alfred Health

Orthoptic-led diabetic screening clinic

Pharmacy

Austin Health

Pharmacist assisted electronic prescribing of medications on admission and discharge to reduce medication errors

Pharmacy

Peninsula Health

Advanced practice in Pharmacy - improving timely medication assessment and charting accuracy on admission

Physiotherapy

Alfred Health

Advanced respiratory Physiotherapist (intensive care)

Physiotherapy

Eastern Health

Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy service in the Rheumatology Clinic

Physiotherapy

Melbourne Health

Advanced practice physiotherapist in diabetes

Physiotherapy

Melbourne Health

Advanced practice Physiotherapist in neurosciences clinics

Physiotherapy

Melbourne Health

Expanding the scope of advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapy: diagnostic imaging

Physiotherapy

Melbourne Health

Expansion of the back pain assessment clinic in PCM to regional Victoria and outer metro Melbourne

Physiotherapy

Mercy Public Hospital Werribee

Implementation of an AP physiotherapy model in ED

Physiotherapy

Northeast Health Wangaratta

Primary Contact Physiotherapy service within ED

Physiotherapy

Northern Health

Introduction of a Physiotherapy-Led Soft Tissue Review Service

Physiotherapy

St Vincent's hospital

Early Spinal Triage Service

Physiotherapy

St Vincent's hospital

Build and expand Post Arthroplasty Review Clinic

Physiotherapy

Western Health

Expansion of Adult Orthopaedic Advanced Practice Physiotherapy clinics

Physiotherapy

Wimmera Southern Mallee Health Alliance

Advanced Practice musculoskeletal physiotherapist specialising in chronic pain

Physiotherapy

Northern Health

Introduction of a Physiotherapy-Led Gynaecology & Continence Screening Clinic

Physiotherapy

Mercy Public Hospital for Women

Advanced Practice Continence and Women's health Physiotherapy service

Physiotherapy

West Gippsland Healthcare Group

Establishment of an advanced practice physiotherapy led gynaecology clinic in a rural setting

Physiotherapy

Austin Health

Post-operative complications that delay mobilisation in high risk surgical patients - Adv Prac Physio

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Albury Wodonga

Expansion of an existing Advanced Practice Hand Therapy Service

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Bendigo Health

Establish an advanced practice hand clinic within BH specialist outpatient clinics

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Eastern Health

Advanced Practice Hand Therapists: A direct care pathway from the Emergency Department to Hand Therapy

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Monash Health

Monash Health Advanced Practice in Hand Therapy - in collaboration with agreed networks

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Melbourne Health

Hand Therapy - Early management of acquired hand conditions

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Melbourne Health

Implementation of a new pathway and sensori-motor program - upper limb complex regional pain syndrome

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Northern Health

Introduction of a Hand Therapist led screening clinic for patients with hand conditions on the Plastics waiting list, in collaborative arrangements with agreed networks

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

St Vincent's Health

Establishment of a Primary Contact Hand Therapy clinic for Elective Plastics surgery (non-complex) patients, in collaborative arrangements with agreed networks

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work

Inner East Community Health

Advanced Practice for Complex Disability within Community Health

Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy

Western Health

Occupational Therapy Led Plastics Clinic

Physiotherapy and Sonography

Ballarat Health Services

Implementation of a developmental dysplasia of Hip Clinic

Physiotherapy and Sonography

Monash Health

Co-located Physiotherapist and Ultrasonographer led hip dysplasia clinic

Podiatry

Austin Health

Clinical Practice and Evaluation framework for a limited AP Podiatric Surgery service

Podiatry

Eastern Health

Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention

Podiatry

Gateway Community Health

Advanced Practice High Risk foot service

Podiatry

Latrobe Community Health Service

Establishment of a podiatry led high risk foot clinic in the community

Podiatry

Western Health

AP Podiatry model of care for patients with foot/ankle conditions within a specialist outpatient setting

Podiatry and Physiotherapy

Djerriwarrh Health Services

Dry Needling Chronic Pain Clinic staffed by Podiatry & Physiotherapy

Radiography

Peninsula Health

Establishment of Radiographer Advanced Practitioner PICC line insertion

Social work

Western Health

Pre-EMPTS: provision of responsive emergency maternity and paediatric trauma services

Speech pathology

Austin Health

Expansion of a Speech Pathology led FEES service at the Royal Talbot Rehab centre

Speech pathology

Goulburn Valley Health

Speech Pathology led complex paediatric feeding clinic

Speech pathology

Melbourne Health

Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) at RMH

Speech pathology

Northeast Health Wangaratta

Infant Speech Pathology Feeding Service

Speech pathology

Peninsula Health

Establishment of a Paediatric Videofluoroscopy Swallow Study (VFSS) service

Speech pathology

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Development of a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) service

Speech pathology

St Vincent's hospital

Development of a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) at point of care

If you would like further information please contact the Allied Health Workforce team at alliedhealthworkforce@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Advanced practice case studies

In consultation with health services, the department has developed a suite of advanced practice case studies to support Victorian health care providers in establishing and embedding proven advanced practice roles into new services or settings. It is anticipated that these case studies will assist services to understand how to implement similar roles in other services and settings.

The case studies showcase advanced practice roles within Victorian metropolitan and regional health services across a range of allied health professions and help build an evidence base on their service and workforce impacts. The case studies demonstrate that advanced practice roles can successfully increase options for service provision, as well as enable development of additional career pathways and leadership opportunities for allied health practitioners. 

Kathleen Philip, Chief Allied Health Advisor of Victoria provides an overview and introduction to the case studies.

Currently four case studies are available:

  • Barwon Health: Physiotherapy-led paediatric fracture clinic which improves the continuum of care for patients seen in the emergency department, enhancing patient care and more quickly addressing patient needs.
  • Northern Health: Podiatry-led orthopaedic triage and assessment service which has successfully removed patients with foot and ankle conditions from the orthopaedic priority 3 waitlist.
  • Peninsula Health: Response assessment discharge (RAD) team delivers transdisciplinary care with allied health practitioners skilled in specific core competencies of the other disciplines. This has had a positive impact on reducing the number of patients admitted directly from the emergency department to acute hospital beds for non-medical reasons, and reducing length of stay in hospital wards.
  • Western Health: Physiotherapy-led developmental dysplasia of the hip clinic which provides a more consistent and timely service provision for patients. The clinic is run by highly skilled physiotherapists and sonographers and reduces the number of appointments that families need to attend for assessment and treatment of children who have risk factors and are diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip. 

The department is continuing to work with health services to develop additional case studies.