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WBHHS to expand Nurse Navigator program

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service will continue to expand its Nurse Navigator team, following the Minister for Health’s announcement the positions would be made permanent across the state.

The success of the Nurse Navigator program in Wide Bay has seen 13 experienced nurses delivering services to local patients who have complex conditions and need assistance, as they navigate the health system to get the best possible care.

WBHHS is already recruiting additional nurse navigators, with plans already under way for extra positions covering areas such as palliative care, children and youth, Parkinson’s Disease, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

“Our nurse navigators have been a great success, helping patients with complex conditions by creating partnerships with them, coordinating their care and improving their health outcomes,” Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said.

“The care provided by our nurse navigators puts into action the title of our strategic plan, Care Comes First…Through Patients Eyes. This model works in partnership with patients with complex conditions to ensure they receive care that considers all their needs.

“It’s great to have funding in the State Budget that ensures these important positions are continuing, which will enable WBHHS to keep expanding our Nurse Navigator program into more areas.

“Currently WBHHS is recruiting two more palliative care nurse navigators and plans are under way to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health nurse navigators, after the need for those positions was identified in a recent Closing the Gap workshop.”

WBHHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Fiona Sewell said the Nurse Navigator program was helping to ensure patients journeying through the health system were treated in a holistic way.

“In Wide Bay we have high levels of patients with chronic diseases and, as a result, when they’re referred to a new specialist for treatment it can be more complex and require additional support,” Ms Sewell said.

“Our nurse navigators work in partnership with the patient and their family, taking the time to develop a plan of care that addresses their needs and respects their time and circumstances.

“By using their knowledge of the system, access to healthcare team members across our service and their own clinical expertise, our experienced nurse navigators help complex patients receive the best possible care.

“They become a central point of communication for the patient, reducing fragmentation between different areas and helping the patient understand different aspects of their care.

“Nurse navigators also actively help patients to better understand their health condition and promote self-management, which improves outcomes and helps patients be more independent in their daily life.”

Last updated: 26 July 2019