TeleHealth centre on track to extend regional and remote support
Last year I was delighted to inform you that thanks to your generous donations and the support of the Queensland Government we were in a position to start converting an existing building on our Toowong office site into a dedicated teleHealth centre. As the end of the financial year approaches, I am pleased to update you that we remain on track to have the new centre operational later this year, despite the combined difficulties of wet weather and ongoing supply issues from the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, the building has been moved and raised to allow for more office space on the ground floor. Internal works are well underway to convert what was a traditional residential Queenslander into purpose-built office space that will allow for multiple teleHealth sessions to take place simultaneously.
The new centre will greatly improve our ability to support kids and families in regional, rural and remote Queensland. It will enable us to provide a full range of support and therapies not readily available through our regional service centres, while allowing children and families in remote locations who find it difficult to travel into one of our service centres receive the support they need.
The beauty of teleHealth is that the client doesn’t need expensive equipment or specific technical knowledge to access the service. We have already equipped our regional offices, to allow families access to teleHealth when they don’t have equipment or the confidence to access teleHealth themselves, with trained staff available to provide help and guidance if they need it.
A case in point is our Rockhampton office which we have equipped with a remote teleHealth set-up to help our NDIS Early Childhood, Early intervention families. This enables kids with an NDIS plan to access services that might not be available locally or which have long waiting lists.
Recently one of our Early Childhood Facilitator, Alexis, was working with Lucas a young boy who she helped access an NDIS plan to receive allied health supports, including physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy.
Lucas’s grandmother, who was looking after him, was open to trying teleHealth if Lucas could receive help sooner than waiting for local supports to become available. Alexis was on hand to help Lucas’s grandmother use our teleHealth set-up in the Rockhampton centre for initial appointments and Alexis ensured all specialist therapy equipment was readily available for Lucas’s subsequent therapy sessions.
Lucas’s grandmother told us how well she felt supported by BUSHkids and was confident that the teleHealth approach was the best way for Lucas to access the supports he needs. Lucas is now receiving ongoing support using teleHealth including fortnightly speech therapy sessions. Lucas’s grandmother has become more confident using teleHealth on her own and has started accessing support through teleHealth from her own home, without having to come into the Rockhampton centre.
Most of all Lucas’s grandmother was really grateful for BUSHkids’ help navigating the NDIS system, and for providing access and guidance in using teleHealth, which has meant Lucas has been able to get the support he urgently needed, sooner. Grandma is now happy to use teleHealth on her own and is a ‘big fan’ of BUSHkids, our teleHealth service and most of all our Early Childhood Facilitator in Rockhampton Alexis. This is something I can’t stress enough; teleHealth doesn’t replace the need for our therapists and facilitators in regional locations but complements and extends their work while making access to vital service easier for kids and families.
With your ongoing support for our new dedicated teleHealth centre, we will be able to help more kids like Lucas, as you can help us help them. Any gift of $2 or more which you can give is tax deductible and will enable us to finish building and fitting out the new teleHealth centre. To make donation easier, you can give online through our website; go to bushkids.org.au and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button.
Thank you again for your continued support. We couldn’t continue to provide our free services to kids and families in rural, regional, and remote Queensland without your help.
Chief Executive Officer
 While this is a real case, personal information about the children and family have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.
For more information regarding teleHealth at BUSHkids, please view this short video.