'The customer is always right' - The lived experience of community project implementation

Date & Time

Nov 11th at 10:20 AM until 10:35 AM


Big ideas: Future vision for allied health 


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Chairs: David Meade and Terry Haines

David Towl (1), Fiona McKinnon (2), Ayesha Ghosh (3), Bronwyn Davies (4), Sonia Thomas (5)

1 Inner East Community Health 378 Burwood Road Hawthorn VIC 3122 david.towl@iechs.org.au
2 St Vincent's Hospital 41 Victoria Parade Fitzroy VIC 3065 fiona.mckinnon@svha.org.au
3 Inner East Community Health 378 Burwood Road Hawthorn VIC 3122 ayesha.ghosh@iechs.org.au
4 St Georges Health Service 283 Cotham Road Kew VIC 3101 bronwyn.davies@svha.org.au
5 St Georges Health Service 283 Cotham Road Kew VIC 3101 sonia.thomas2@svhm.org.au

Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. What Helen left out, was that partnerships are hard work and as renowned partnership academic Prof Patricia Rogers said “Don't
partner unless you have to”.

Despite this, eighteen months ago, a major tertiary hospital and a community health service embarked on a partnership to work with community agencies and consumer groups; with the aim of together improving the health outcomes and well being of stroke survivors. This presentation discusses what they learnt along the way – not about stroke management – but about partnership, community participation and community program delivery.

We know that the health system is not confined to wards, or primary-care clinics and we also know the
contexts and expectations of consumers and partners differ dependent on the setting they come from
and the professional framework in which they operate. This can lead to a rich and fraught lived experience in program delivery. We work in an environment where we are encouraged to work outside the walls of our agencies and accredited against our ability to engage with community and consumers. Is this (often frustrating) experience worth the opportunity to tackle health issues external to traditional health service environments?

This session will discuss the lived experience of two senior health service managers embedding paraclinical
programs within a community setting, assisted by community and consumer agencies. It will take a frank approach to discussing some of the barriers to program delivery in community settings and use case studies and program logic evaluations to explain the accommodations necessary to deliver programs which meet the needs of consumers and the community and can be delivered by clinicians.