Award for renal services team
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.