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People with disability - Julian's Key Trial

Julian's Key Trial

What is the Julian’s Key trial?

The Julian’s Key Health Passport will be trialled in Logan and Ipswich Hospitals for 12-months from August 2019 to help address communication barriers and improve health experiences of people with disability accessing health services.

The trial seeks to identify whether Julian’s Key:

  • helps people with disability to communicate their healthcare needs in a way that empowers them as individuals
  • helps health professionals and the broader care team to provide person-centred care for people with disability.

The trial will be externally evaluated to identify whether these objectives are achieved.

What is Julian’s Key?

Julian’s Key was developed by West Moreton Hospital and Health Service and is named after a young man with disability who passed away in Ipswich Hospital in 2011.

Julian’s Key is a patient/carer-controlled communication tool designed to improve communication and empower people with disability, their families and carers to be more involved in their healthcare.

Julian’s Key includes key information – in order of critical, important and useful – in a format that can be shared quickly and easily with carers and health staff. It is available as a mobile application, an editable PDF and a paper-based form.

It provides health staff with information to provide person-centred healthcare, such as if they need help to eat or drink or how they communicate using a traffic light system:

Julian's Key traffic light

Julian’s Key is a live document and may change over time.

Who is Julian’s Key for?

Julian’s Key is primarily designed for people with intellectual or cognitive disability but could benefit anyone who might have difficulty communicating in a health and hospital setting.

How can I help people with disability access Julian’s Key?

An editable PDF, which can be printed, can be found here.

The Julian’s Key mobile application will be available to download for free from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store soon.

Trial evaluation

A formal evaluation of the trial is being undertaken over the trial period. The focus of the evaluation will be on the client’s experience of the tool and health staff’s perceptions of its usefulness in supporting person-centred care.

A small number of people with disability using Julian’s Key will be needed to participate in an evaluation. Eligibility to participate in the evaluation is below:

  • the person can provide consent or has a decision-maker who can consent on their behalf
  • the person lives in an applicable area (West Moreton Health or Metro South Health area)
  • person has a disability and co-morbid health issues
  • person is likely to use Ipswich or Logan hospital inpatient or emergency department services in the next six months (August 2019 to January 2020).

A small number of health staff in Logan and Ipswich Hospitals will also be approached to participate in the evaluation to share their views.


If you have questions about the trial, please contact Julian'

Secondary contacts within each health service and the Department of Health

Metro South HHS

Troy Hakala, Social Worker, Health Equity and Access Unit, Metro South HHS – or 07 3156 9580

West Moreton HHS

Mark Strong, Senior Director, Communications and Engagement, West Moreton HHS – or 07 3413 5675

Department of Health

Melanie Nicholls, A/Manager, Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch, the Department of Health – or 07 3708 5601.

Last updated: 31 July 2019