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The Princess Alexandra Hospital Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (A&TSI) Unit has extended its hours.
Sue Cumming, PAH Director of Social Work, said the team found many clients presented outside of A&TSI Unit business hours.
“Between January and May this year, 46 per cent of all ED presentations occurred between midnight and 2pm, while 54 per cent presented between 2pm and 10pm,” she said.
“There were also a slightly higher number of A&TSI patient discharges from ED between 2pm and 10pm.”
Sue said it was important to identify when patients were at the hospital, as ED often provided ‘the one and only chance’ for Hospital Liaison Officer (HLO) engagement with clients to provide contact information to relevant community supports and initiate appropriate referrals.
“So we have increased patient and family access to the A& TSI Unit by extending operating hours from 7:30am to 10pm Monday to Friday,” she said.
The A&TSI HLO service provides assistance and support to patients and their families during their hospitalisation and subsequent follow-up support.
“HLO’s work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams across PAH to ensure that appropriate, culturally sensitive services contribute to the improved health and well-being status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Sue said.
“Most importantly our HLO’s advocate for patients when they articulate a lack of understanding of their healthcare and ensure clinicians communicate in a way the patient understands.”