Key messages

  • The Department of Health & Human Services has developed a number of health workforce reform initiatives.
  • The Workforce Innovation Grant Program (WIGP) aims to identify solutions to existing and projected health workforce challenges.
  • WIGP projects include research on the nature and scale of the health workforce challenge, exploration of health sector ideas that need to be tested more widely and trials that test and obtain evidence for potential solutions.

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed the Workforce Innovation Grant Program (WIGP) to explore, identify and trial (where appropriate) innovations that improve utility of the health workforce while maintaining and improving the quality of outcomes, efficiency and health worker satisfaction.

Workforce Innovation Grant Program

Under the leadership of the Health Workforce Reform Implementation Taskforce (HWRIT) the program aims to identify solutions to existing and projected health workforce challenges and to identify strategies that could effect positive change and support sustainable health services into the future.

The types of projects supported through the WIGP include research that determines the nature and scale of the health workforce challenge, projects that explore health sector ideas that need to be tested more widely and trials that test and obtain evidence for potential solutions. Projects are required to include:

  • local evaluation utilising the Victorian innovation and reform impact assessment framework to understand and measure the local impacts of the change
  • an undertaking to facilitate independent and external evaluation by the department (when appropriate) against the framework to determine the applicability of the reform for wider implementation
  • evidence of a stakeholder engagement strategy
  • evidence of the intended clinical governance, supervision and support model for roles directly affected by the proposed project.

During 2013–14 successful WIGP projects were selected and assessed on their alignment with the HWRIT and departmental health workforce priorities, the significance of the workforce change and the potential transferability across the sector and state, particularly in rural areas.

These projects included the following.

Home and Community Care (HACC) program workforce – five projects:

  • Allied health assistant shared model of care through role redesign
  • HACC enabler role for intensive consumer-focused program
  • Integrated Home Services Team
  • Allied health assistants in the HACC workforce
  • Allied health assistant role to support care coordination in the HACC program

Cross-sector workforce roles to improve the care of older people:

  • Practice framework for interdisciplinary allied health advanced practitioners in general medicine and aged care services
  • Multidisciplinary back pain interface clinic
  • Multidisciplinary conservative management for back pain clinic
  • Reorganisation and restructure of acute physiotherapy

Prescribing in the health workforce

Advanced practice allied health roles:

  • Exercise physiologist for chronic disease rehabilitation
  • Advanced practice continence and women’s health physiotherapy services

Allied health assistant roles

  • Chronic disease allied health assistants

Detailed summaries of the individual projects are available.

Contact details