Purro Birik - 22

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



Appendix C: Best Practice Project No.1         


The Pathways Project- Gunditjamara Health Service and Warrnambool and District Base Hospital Psychiatric Services




The Pathways to Best Practice group formed initially to provide support for the Koori mental health worker position. Group members were primarily interested clinical staff from each program area, the Koori Mental Health Worker, their identified supervisor, and the Manager of Koori Health Programs in the Warrnambool area.


As the role of the Koori mental health worker developed, a number of service access issues were identified and the group started to develop strategies to overcome these barriers. Strategies identified by the Pathways group include the development of flowcharts that promote the involvement of the specialist workers at critical stages of service delivery (for example admission, intake and care planning)


A critical function of the Pathways group has been to develop the network between community and mainstream services. Meetings provide a forum for-discussing clinical issues and promoting culturally sensitive practice. Another function of the Pathways group has been to develop a comprehensive staff training package for mainstream workers. Group members have consulted with communities on the local content of the package. The Pathways group will coordinate implementation of the training.


The establishment of the Pathways group was helpful during the Purro Birik Statewide consultations because a core group of people were considering the issues that affect Koori access and service delivery at a local level.


Since its beginnings, membership of the Pathways group has expanded to include the staff development officer from mainstream psychiatric services, the mental health worker employed by the local community, and representatives from the four health services in the region.


The Pathways group has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that members of the Koori community have culturally sensitive issues recognised when presenting to psychiatric services.


The Warrnambool and District Base Hospital and Gunditjamara Health Service Pathways Group developed the following two flowcharts to promote the involvement of specialist Koori workers in the intake and assessment processes, and in the inpatient admission process of mainstream psychiatric services. 



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