1Top End Health Service, , Australia
Top End Health Services (TEHS) is the largest provider of healthcare in the Northern Territory. In order to canvas service and workforce development priorities and opportunities for allied health, TEHS Allied Health Directorate sponsored the ‘TEHS Allied Health Priorities across the Continuum of Care’ Project 2020-21. As part of this project, a staff consultation was conducted in late 2020.
The consultation, framed as qualitative research, consisted of three methods: online surveys, semi-structured interviews and workshops. Data was analysed using a thematic analysis methodology.
Overall, good engagement and representation across allied health disciplines and TEHS work units was achieved. 106 staff, working mostly in operational roles, were part of one or more consultation methods.
Participants acknowledged processes and resources in place that currently work well included areas of communication and engagement; referrals and handovers; models of care; and current workforce.
Staff visions pointed at identifying and addressing service gaps; reducing silos; workforce support and development; service-wide matters; and equity for allied health within the Service.
Finally, participants identified strategies that would contribute to progress towards prioritised visions point at friendlier services for consumers; user-friendly systems for staff; workforce development; service development; and recognition of allied health.
The consultation findings reflect the views of people that experience, on a daily basis, the multiple enablers and barriers of service provision as well as the complexity of a health system comprised of a multitude of public and non-government organisations and funding mechanisms.
These findings, in consultation with consumer groups and advocates, have great potential to inform future service and workforce development for allied health in TEHS and other Northern Territory Health Services.
Johana is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with postgraduate qualifications in public policies for equality. She has 8+ years of experience providing nutrition services in remote communities in Australia and Colombia. Over the past 5 years, she has led community development and quality improvement projects. Johana is currently undertaking the “TEHS Allied Health Priorities Across the Continuum of Care” project on behalf of the Allied Health Executive Directorate for TEHS.