An innovative new nurse-led pilot program has been launched to provide excellence in child and family health.
The 12-month program, funded through the $10m EB10 Innovation Fund, has seen the introduction of a new temporary full-time Child Development Clinical Nurse Consultant role within the Darling Downs Child Health Service.
The Child Development Clinical Nurse Consultant will provide direct care to children and families with parenting and behavioural concerns, and work closely with paediatricians and other clinicians to offer a comprehensive, inclusive service that focuses on early assessment and intervention.
Darling Downs Health Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Services Andrea Nagle said families with parenting and behavioural concerns were the most common referral to the Darling Downs Health Child Development Service, which can now provide specialist skills to effectively assess and manage these cases.
“Many inequalities start in early childhood and increase over time, impacting negatively on a child’s health, development and wellbeing,” Ms Nagle said.
“This new program aims to help all families with children at risk of poor developmental outcomes to receive support and care to achieve the best possible health and wellbeing.
“By developing this model of care and instigating a framework around this new program, the role of Child Development Clinical Nurse Consultant could be replicated across the state, improving access to services for all Queensland children and families.”
Darling Downs Health Nursing Director Women’s and Children’s Wendy Fry said referrals for development issues including parenting and behavioural concerns are predicted to increase.
“Our paediatricians are supportive of the introduction of this program and feel it will greatly assist in continuing to keep up with demand for our services and seeing families promptly,” she said.