$1.5m for aged care hub – Region’s health training boosted

A NEW $1.5 million multidisciplinary teaching facility designed to help support aged care services and grow the future rural healthcare workforce in southern Tasmania has received federal funding.

The Health Hub will be located on The Avenue in New Norfolk.

It is currently being constructed by Corumbene Care, which provides aged care services, social housing, independent living, community care services and outreach programs in New Norfolk and surrounding areas including Derwent Valley, Central Highlands and Southern Midlands.

The training and teaching hub is a partnership between the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health and Corumbene Care and funded through the federal Department of Health’s expansion of Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program in Aged Care Services.

Nursing and allied health students, including pharmacy and physiotherapy, will be able to live in the region to undertake professional placements.

“The new multidisciplinary facility will help support health outcomes in the elderly population with placements focusing on a collaborative care model across the different disciplines,” Associate Professor Tony Barnett, Director of the Centre for Rural Health, said.
“Central to the initiative is also providing opportunities for local clinical supervisors to develop skills across training, guidance and mentorship.”

Corumbene Care CEO Alison Standen said face-to-face access to training resources was extremely important for the workforce.
“Training for the region, within the region is a fantastic concept,’’ Ms Standen said.
“Given complex socio-economic overlays within the workforce, bringing the training to the people is key for engagement and the acquisition of practical skills.
“Currently less than 30 per cent of all residents of the Derwent Valley have a Year 12 educational achievement.

“Past Derwent Valley industries have transformed the prosperity of the community by giving access to workforce participation and educational training.
“The opportunity afforded by rising demand in aged care and a partnership with the University of Tasmania provides the building blocks for this prosperity to continue. “This is a proven model for improving social and health outcomes within our community.”

Prof Barnett said local communities would also benefit from research conducted as part of the facility including rural training strategies, rural service delivery models and health issues directly impacting rural people