Evolution of an Allied Health Model of Care to support patients within the NSW COVID-19 Quarantine System

Ms Kirrily Stewart1, Ms Caoimhe Scales1, Dr Sharon Carey1, Prof Jennifer Alison1,2, Ms Sarah Whitney1

1Sydney Local Health District – Special Health Accommodation, Sydney, Australia, 2University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Background: Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) established the Special Health Accommodation (SHA) for the management of patients who are COVID 19 positive and/or have health conditions that require active management or supervision in quarantine. Allied Health (AH) staff have been deployed to provide patient-centred assessment and care to patients in quarantine.

Aim: To describe the role AH has played within SHA and explore the AH model of care as it has evolved in response to service delivery demands and patient needs.

Methods:  AH play two roles within SHA (i) initial AH assessment to determine physical, functional, psychological and psychosocial needs and (ii) discipline specific assessments and interventions. Through a narrative approach and use of electronic medical record data, the AH model of care was explored over a nine month period.

Results: AH staff have assessed all patients in SHA, totally more than 9000, to determine needs and care plans. Individual professions have seen exponential increases in referrals over time. From month 1 to month 9 there was a 278% (n=46 to n=174) increase in total number of referrals.  Discipline monthly referral increases in this period were; Dietetics: 1320% (n=5 to n=71); Exercise Physiology: 187% (n=8 to n=23); Occupational Therapy 147% (n=15 to n=37); and Physiotherapy 139% (n=18 to n=43).

Discussion: This model of care has evolved over time and provided physical, functional, psychosocial and psychological support for people coming through the NSW quarantine system. It has also allowed demonstration of transferrable and specialist skills within the AH workforce.


Biographies to come.

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