Coming together to do different: Tertiary paediatric healthcare workforce development solution to support children and young people to return home after a catastrophic event or New Diagnosis

Shani Jackman1

1Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia

Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) provides paediatric tertiary health services for children and young people across Queensland, Northern NSW and Northern Territory by close to 4,000 staff. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) resulted in significant disruption to well established practices and necessitated culture shift and practice change to adopt early planning for disability. QCH management supported an “NDIS is everyone’s business” approach, thus all staff needed to be able to have a basic conversation with a family in any setting.

This ‘new’ interfacing disability sector is complex and everchanging requiring continual refinement of practice. Combined with workforce turnover, workforce development required a dynamic and responsive approach as conventional methods were not working. Advocacy for a QCH NDIS interprofessional team was successful and champions came together from across the service representing all allied health disciplines and nursing.

The team’s success was indirectly measured via a bespoke database indicating a significant increase in treating clinicians initiating the NDIS process with families versus initiation by the QCH NDIS interprofessional team (2019=18%; 2020=42%).

Executive sponsorship and Allied health directors support was essential for success of the QCH NDIS interprofessional team approach. The increased reach and engagement allowed education and support to be targeted to build workforce capacity and capability while embedding education and training into existing clinical education structures and systems across professions, divisions and teams to ensure sustainability.

Acknowledgments: Ongoing support from Tania Hobson, Executive Director Allied Health QCH, Bethany Hooke, Disability Cross Sector Partnerships QCH and Kristine Kelly, Allied Health Workforce Development Service Improvement Leader QCH.


Neurodevelopmental physiotherapist for 15 years, initially in the community with children aged 0 to 6 and for the last 11 years working in Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation service.

For last 3 years have been working in QCH NDIS Implementation Coordinator role that has changed significantly since initial project. Predominantly focused on supporting children and families to access disability sector services and supports to ensure a safe and timely discharge from hospital after a catastrophic injury or new diagnosis.

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