Award for re­nal ser­vices team

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Joanna De­la­lande

A Gold­fields health ser­vice that has helped re­duce the lo­cal dial­y­sis wait­ing list from 30 peo­ple to two in the past four years had its hard work recog­nised at the WA Health Ex­cel­lence Awards on Thurs­day night.

The Gold­fields Re­nal Ser­vice, which al­lows peo­ple in the Gold­fields to re­ceive spe­cial­ist kid­ney care close to home, in­stead of hav­ing to travel to Perth, re­ceived the pres­ti­gious award for achiev­ing bet­ter health out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

The ser­vice is part of an eight-year strat­egy by the WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Gold­fields to ex­pand dial­y­sis ser­vices, in­cor­po­rate new in­fra­struc­ture, and in­tro­duce a re­nal team to ad­dress a grow­ing need for spe­cial­ist kid­ney ser­vices.

Clin­i­cal nurse con­sul­tant Kim Tracey said the award was a “fan­tas­tic recog­ni­tion for the team and an ac­knowl­edge­ment of the work we do”.

She said kid­ney is­sues re­mained preva­lent, par­tic­u­larly in re­gional areas, and ini­tia­tives such as the Gold­fields Re­nal Ser­vice were cru­cial to di­ag­nos­ing and treat­ing dis­ease.

“Peo­ple can lose up to 90 per cent of kid­ney func­tion be­fore they get any symp­toms, so it’s so im­por­tant that we screen them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to WACHS, 96 per cent of peo­ple on haemodial­y­sis in the Gold­fields are Abo­rig­i­nal.

Gold­fields Re­gional Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Di­rec­tor Carol Er­lank said be­fore the Gold­fields Re­nal Ser­vice, pa­tients need­ing dial­y­sis were fre­quently RFDS-trans­ferred to Perth to start dial­y­sis with­out prior knowl­edge of dial­y­sis op­tions or plan­ning.

Gold­fields peo­ple were re­quired to travel up to 600km for re­nal spe­cial­ist ser­vices and fre­quently did not at­tend met­ro­pol­i­tan-based ap­point­ments.

“There was a press­ing need to en­sure that re­nal ser­vices were cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate, pa­tient-cen­tred and pro­vided close to pa­tients’ homes,” Ms Er­lank said.

“Gold­fields peo­ple were stranded in Perth with­out fam­ily, loved ones or the sup­port of their com­mu­nity.”

Gold­fields re­gional di­rec­tor Geral­dine En­nis said the re­nal ser­vice and ad­di­tional dial­y­sis chairs at the hos­pi­tal made it pos­si­ble for the Gold­fields com­mu­nity to re­ceive “gold stan­dard” care.

“This is pos­si­ble from the early stages of kid­ney dis­ease through to dial­y­sis or the pal­lia­tive care path­way,” she said.

The WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Gold­fields Re­nal Ser­vices team.

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