Mapping of allied health service capacity for maternity and neonatal services in the southern Queensland health service district

Wilkinson, Shelley A., Duncan, Leyanne, Barrett, Catherine, Turnbull, Robin and McCray, Sally (2013) Mapping of allied health service capacity for maternity and neonatal services in the southern Queensland health service district. Australian Health Review, 37 5: 614-619. doi:10.1071/AH13047

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Author Wilkinson, Shelley A.
Duncan, Leyanne
Barrett, Catherine
Turnbull, Robin
McCray, Sally
Title Mapping of allied health service capacity for maternity and neonatal services in the southern Queensland health service district
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
1449-8944
Publication date 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH13047
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 37
Issue 5
Start page 614
End page 619
Total pages 6
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective Allied health professionals (AHPs) in maternity and neonatology services are essential for quality care and outcomes, reflected in the minimum service delivery requirements in the Queensland Health clinical services capability framework (CSCF). However, allied health (AH) capacity across the Southern Queensland Health Service Districts (SQHSD) is not known. The aim of this project was to redress this knowledge gap to inform ongoing service planning and delivery.

Methods
Maternity and neonatal AH clinicians in all birthing facilities in SQHSD were surveyed between October and December 2011 to investigate AHP staffing, practices and models of care. The professions surveyed included dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers and speech pathologists. Results were grouped per question, with stratification by CSCF and/or profession.

Results Fifty-five valid surveys from the 16 facilities were received. All professions were represented. Gaps in maternity AH services were identified. Awareness and use of evidence-based practices were more likely to be reported where higher full-time equivalents (FTE) were allocated.

Conclusion Very low staffing levels have been recorded in all Maternity and Neonatology Services AHPs in the SQHSD. Gaps exist between actual and recommended CSCF staffing standards across all levels and professions. The results indicate that profession-specific support networks for AHPs have positive effects in the spreading of information, and continued promotion, support and involvement in these profession-specific networks is suggested for all facilities.

What is known about the topic? Maternity and neonatology service allied health (AH) professionals provide essential services for quality maternal and infant care and outcomes, reflected in their inclusion in several Queensland Health maternity and neonatal clinical guidelines. Queensland Health has also released a clinical services capability framework, which outlines minimum requirements for the provision of health services in Queensland public facilities, including minimum service and workforce structure. These include AH staff in the provision of key elements of care.

What does the paper add? Staffing levels and description of models of care for AH professionals across the (former) Southern Queensland Health Service District is not known. This paper describes the outcome of a mapping process that provides a clear picture of AH staffing levels and service gaps, models of care in use, and models of care or resources that may be shared within the network for the professions of nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, social work and speech pathology.

What are the implications for practitioners? This profile of AH practitioners across the district provides a baseline reference that may prove useful for future planning of maternity and neonatology services in Queensland Health. Very low levels of staffing were identified and the staffing requirements outlined in the clinical services capability framework was not met at some sites. The results indicate that profession-specific support networks for AH practitioners have positive effects in the spreading of information; in addition, the continued promotion, support and involvement in these profession-specific networks are suggested for all facilities.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Mater Research Institute-UQ (MRI-UQ)
Official 2014 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 17 Nov 2013, 14:38:45 EST by Shelley Wilkinson on behalf of School of Pharmacy