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Healthy Kids Bus Stop (HKBS) Project

Project Added:
31 October 2014
Last updated:
28 January 2015

Breaking down silos through integrated care.

Summary

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop (HKBS) Project is a community-based integrated care partnership between Royal Far West, Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Medicare Local, and Ronald McDonald House Charities to address the gaps in child health needs in rural NSW

Stop sign image altered to include a cartoon of GP and two children

Aim

To address the gaps in child health needs in rural NSW with comprehensive assessment and a coordinated, integrated pathway to care for children and their family.

Benefits

  • Improving health outcomes for children and their families in rural areas
  • Integrated care and collaborative partnerships.

Project status

Sustained: The project has been implemented, is sustained in standard business.

Implementation

A pilot assessed 65 children, which saw 59 (91%) of these children as having significant health concerns, resulting in 122 referrals into the partner agencies.

The project provides a comprehensive ‘whole of child’ health assessment based on the My Personal Health Record ‘Blue Book’ utilising multidisciplinary staff from partner agencies and a coordinated pathway to care for children and their family.

Results 

The project delivered an innovative integrated care model that fostered strong collaborative partnership that provided a pathway to care for children resulting in measurable child health outcomes. This project is embedded in Royal Far West - Child Health Strategy with Ministerial interest from both Health and Education.

Ongoing commitment has been provided from Western NSW LHD (6 sites 2014-2015) along with strong commitment from both the Western NSW Medicare Local, Far West NSW Medicare Locals and relevant Aboriginal Medical Services.

Ronald McDonald House Charities, as an integral partner, has confirmed the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to support ongoing roll out of the program.

Evaluation

Read the Healthy Kids Bus Stop – Warren Evaluation Report.

This evaluation of the Health Kids Bus Stop Program has given us confidence that this innovative model is effective in identifying the health needs of children, and through the coordinated pathway to care is likely to impact on the health trajectory of children in communities that are isolated with reduced or limited access to local services.

Healthy Kids Bus Stop – Warren Evaluation Report

Partnerships 

Royal Far West, Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Medicare Local, Far West Medicare Local, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the wider community to support local implementation. These include local councils, local health providers including General Practitioners (GPs), schools, preschools, local service clubs and local businesses.

Implementation sites

Healthy Kids Bus Stop was delivered in the communities of Warren, Cobar, Gulargambone, Coonamble, Bourke and Brewarrina in 2014. Grenfell, Coolah/ Dunedoo, Lightning Ridge/ Goodooga are already scheduled, and Nyngan is in the planning for 2015. Other communities across NSW will be scheduled as new partnerships develop with the other six rural LHDs, relevant Medicare Locals / Aboriginal Medical Services and other local health providers working in the identified communities. 

Lessons learnt

  • A collaborative approach achieves better health outcomes for the children and families.
  • The collaborative approach identified a greater number of children with significant complex needs through the whole of child assessment.
  • Positive culture shift from silo to partnership – Integrated Care.
  • Significant number of parents did not anticipate the child as having developmental needs or health concerns. 
  • The clinicians also reaped rewards both professionally and personally.
  • Focus on assessment process with strong linkages to referral services for ongoing care that is linked back to the local care providers.
  • Provision of assessment services with referral pathways to care on a multidisciplinary multi-agency basis to children and families that generally have limited access to these services improves health outcomes and long term development.
  • Identification of additional health disciplines to be included in the pathway to care including child psychology and dietetics.
  • Enhanced communication across organisations of pre-registration requirements including identification of immunisation gaps.
  • Enhanced collaboration and information collected at pre-registration including intended school attendance, local GP, and identified concerns for hearing, speech, and occupational therapy.

Awards

This project won the 2014 Connecting Primary Care / Integrated Care Award of the ACI Innovation Awards at the Rural Health and Research Congress, September 2014. 

This project won the 2014 Western NSW LHD Health Award for Integrated Care, September 2014. 

This project was a finalist in the Integrated Health Care category and was the recipient of the State Health Secretary for Integrated Care Peak Award at the 2014 NSW Health Awards.
Download a poster from the 2014 NSW Health Awards.

Acknowledgement

  • Julie Cooper - Director Integrated Care & Partnerships, Western NSW LHD
  • Jane Scotcher - Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities.
  • Debrah Davis - Associate Director Integrated Primary Care & Partnerships, Western NSW LHD
  • Donna Parkes - Rural & Remote Service Manager, Royal Far West

Contacts

Debrah Davis
Associate Director Integrated Primary Care and Partnerships
Western NSW Local Health District
Phone: 0427 907 009
Email: Debrah.davis@health.nsw.gov.au

Donna Parkes
Rural and Remote Service Manager
Royal Far West
Phone: 0499 157 500
Email: donnap@royalfarwest.org.au

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