Allied Health Assistant Paediatric Speech Pathology Out-Patient Clinic

Mrs Lisa Willersdorf1

1Queensland Health, Redcliffe, Australia

Background:

The Redcliffe Hospital Paediatric SP Clinic is a service for the paediatric outpatient population and is limited to only 6 sessions per child. These sessions can include therapy or extensive assessments and all children are evaluated on a case by case basis.  Some children referred to the clinic would benefit from more support than the Speech Pathologist has capacity to provide.

With a 14-year background in Special Education Support, I investigated what an AHA could do that was within scope of practice to assist and support the children. We developed a model that would become the “Allied Health Assistant Paediatric Speech Pathology Out-Patient Clinic”. An AHA Paediatric Workbook was created to provide the education/ training required for this clinic and support the speech, receptive/expressive language and literacy goals of these children.

Aims:

Gain training and sign off all relevant competencies required.

Open a clinic to children 3-14 years of age who would typically not receive speech therapy services or for children requiring additional support.

Method:

The AHA SP Clinic runs each week and offers referred children up to 6 therapy sessions, starting at 7.30am to accommodate school aged children. Each child is referred by the Paediatric SP with a detailed session plan and therapy may include speech, expressive and receptive language and literacy skills.

Therapy is predominately play based with reward enticements. Homework tasks can be given.

For the most part, the AHA clinic runs a face-to-face service, but our telehealth services has had an increase in demand recently for families that cannot attend in person. The internet connection needs to be high-speed to minimise interference.

Future Implications:

-It’s planned to look deeper at outcomes through a PREMS / PROMS survey for both the face-to-face and telehealth services.

-Showcase this model and potentially trial in other Allied Health disciplines.


Biography:

Lisa Willersdorf is an Advanced Allied Health Assistant with over 10 years’ experience. She works at Redcliffe Hospital in both Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy, across adult inpatient & outpatient services and in Paediatric Outpatient care. She has a 13-year background of Special Education support prior to starting with Queensland Health.

Lisa has a passion for patient care and working to full scope incorporating telehealth services into both AHA run clinics that she has been instrumental in implementing.

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