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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The future of public physiotherapy

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)  commissioned the Nous Group (Nous) to explore the strategic drivers which will shape the role of physiotherapy in the Australian Public Healthcare System to 2025.


The strategic drivers of change for the Australian health system present both opportunities and challenges for the profession. It is becoming increasingly important for the APA, its members and the broader profession to chart a path toward a future vision for public physiotherapy services, and not leave success to chance. Clarity and foresight into the future operating environment will inform the APA's vision, strategy and key activities to support public physiotherapy services.


The scope of this report focuses on physiotherapy in Australia's public healthcare system ('public physiotherapy') and aims to answer one key question, "What does the public physiotherapy Service of the Future look like in 2025?" The outcome is to provide an informed view of the profession's current and future state, and on that basis explore how the APA can best support the Service of the Future.


The paper comprises four key sections:

1. Public physiotherapy services today.

2. Eight strategic drivers significantly influence the future of public physiotherapy.

3. The Service of the Future will be defined by seven key features.

4. Implications for today's public physiotherapy services.


The APA intends to use the report for three primary purposes:

1. Provide insights to the profession and its key stakeholders to guide strategic and workforce planning.

2. Inform future development and growth of the profession in the public health system.

3. Shape APA's activities and professional development programs to enable future growth of the profession.  Access the report


Redesign and innovation in hospitals: foundations to making it happen

This policy issues brief by the Deeble Institute, describes key features of hospital redesign processes in Australia by analysing Victorian, NSW and other models. It discusses frameworks and drivers of large scale change in health systems including challenges and barriers to success. The use of systems thinking and entrepreneurship to support achieving change is described. Insights are provided to enable policy development that can support hospital innovation and system redesign.
 Brief  About the brief


Friday, 2 October 2015

Text to prevent repeat heart attacks

Sydney researchers are calling for the implementation of a simple text message system to improve the health of heart attack survivors after it was shown to help reduce weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and was well received by patients.

Westmead Hospital cardiologist Clara Chow said the Tobacco, Exercise and Diet Messages (TEXT ME) trial used a very simple mobile health strategy that could be provided routinely by hospitals as part of a discharge program for heart attack survivors as well as other conditions like stroke.

The TEXT ME trial used an automated, computerised message management system to send texts selected from a bank of messages to trial participants. The messages gave advice and motivational reminders about diet and nutrition, exercise and smoking, based on freely available resources such as those provided by the Heart Foundation.

The trial involved 710 people attending Westmead Hospital with proven coronary heart disease. Half received 4 text messages a week for 6 months in addition to standard care, while the remainder received their standard care.

At 6 months, levels of LDL-C were significantly lower in the intervention group, with concurrent reductions in systolic blood pressure and body mass index. It also saw significant increases in physical activity and a significant reduction in smoking.

Effect of Lifestyle-Focused Text Messaging on Risk Factor Modification in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial; Clara K. Chow, et al. JAMA.2015;314(12):1255-1263. (Available through CIAP).

About the trial.

Trends in methylamphetamine availability, use and treatment, 2003-04 to 2013-14 (AIHW)

Trends in methylamphetamine availability, use and treatment, 2003-04 to 2013-14 reveals that there have been several corresponding trends in the availability, use and treatment of methylamphetamines since 2003-04. Following a decline between 2006-07 and 2009-10, there have been increases across many factors relating to methylamphetamines to 2013-14. Arrests, seizures and detections have all increased.

Users are now favouring the crystal form of methylamphetamine. They are using it more frequently, and, there appear to be more new users of crystal. There are more people in treatment reporting smoking as their usual method of use for amphetamines than previously.

Media release.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Health expenditure Australia 2013-14 (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2013-14 reveals that total expenditure on health was estimated at $154.6 billion in 2013-14, up by 3.1% on 2012-13 in real terms. Growth in expenditure per person was $6,639, which was $94 more in real terms than in 2012-13. Despite this relatively slow growth, total expenditure was 9.8% of GDP in 2013-14, up from 9.7% in 2012-13.

Governments provided $104.8 billion (or 67.8%) of total health expenditure, which represented about 25% of taxation revenue (unchanged from 2012-13).

The non-government sector share of total expenditure increased from 30.0% in 2011-12 to 32.2% in 2013-14, despite generally falling throughout the decade. Funding by individuals was the fastest growing area of non-government sector expenditure over the decade.

View the Media release and download the Full report.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care


This UK national framework urges health organisations and local authorities to act together to improve end of life care for people of all ages. It sets out 6 principles for how people near the end of their lives should be cared for. The 6 'ambitions' for palliative and end of life care are:

  • Each person is seen as an individual
  • Each person gets fair access to care
  • Maximising comfort and wellbeing
  • Care is coordinated
  • All staff are prepared to care
  • Each community is prepared to help
  • Reposted from HealthInfo Blog.

    Brain Basics

    Changes in the brain can lead to mental disorders, such as depression. Brain Basics, from NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, provides information on how the brain works, how mental illnesses are disorders of the brain, and ongoing research that helps us better understand and treat disorders.

    Brain Basics will introduce you to some of this science, such as:

    • How the brain develops
    • How genes and the environment affect the brain
    • The basic structure of the brain
    • How different parts of the brain communicate and work with each other
    • How changes in the brain can lead to mental disorders, such as depression.

    Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

    Palliative care services in Australia 2015 - tranche 1 (AIHW)

    Palliative care services in Australia 2015 - tranche 1 is the first of two scheduled updates of the Palliative Care Services in Australia (PCSiA) online publication for 2015. This first update includes An overview of palliative care, Admitted patient palliative care, Palliative care facilities and services, Palliative care-related medications, Services provided by palliative care medicine specialists and 4 supporting technical information sections (classifications, data sources, identifying palliative care hospitalisations and technical notes).

    View the web report and media release.

    Thursday, 17 September 2015

    New Indigenous healing portal

    Edith Cowan University's Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet, in partnership with the Healing Foundation, has launched a Healing portal on the Health InfoNet website.

    The Healing portal will engage users from a broad range of areas including health, justice, child protection and family violence. At the heart of the portal and Yarning place is the connection with culture, knowledge systems and information sharing.

    The portal brings together information about what is working in Indigenous healing and includes examples of best practice healing initiatives, the latest research from around Australia and tools people can use to develop healing opportunities in their communities.

    Thursday, 10 September 2015

    An introduction to trauma informed care (Free paediatric e-learning)

    ACATLGN has recently announced the launch of a free online learning website - An Introduction to Trauma Informed Care.

    This online learning has been designed to increase information and knowledge on the impact of experiences of adversity and trauma on children and young people. It contains information, resources, videos and links to provide a comprehensive introduction to trauma informed care. The program is designed as an easily accessed on-line introduction and learning program for families, carers and other professionals with responsibilities for the care of children who may need support as a result of challenging and potentially traumatic experiences. There are 6 modules that you can work through at your own pace, with free resources to download that accompany the modules.

    The Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network is based at the Australian National University and is funded by the Australian Government.

    Free e-learning-An Introduction to Trauma Informed Care

    Reposted from: HealthInfo Blog

    BHI reports show how the NSW health system compares internationally

    BHI has today released two complementary reports that show how the NSW healthcare system compares internationally, and also how well it is accommodating the increasing health demands of the ageing population.

    The 5th annual performance report Healthcare in Focus 2014: How does NSW fare? places the performance of NSW's healthcare system in an international context by comparing it with Australia and 10 other countries including the UK, the USA, Canada and France.

    Insights: Healthcare performance across the life span, Volume 1 is the first instalment in othe new miniseries Healthcare performance across the life span and looks at the relationship between ageing and healthcare, particularly in terms of how people aged 55 years and over use and experience healthcare services.

    The reports draw on international data, including the results of the Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults 2014 and OECD data, as well as information from local sources including the NSW Patient Survey Program, the AIHW and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    Acute kidney injury in Australia: a first national snapshot (AIHW)

    Acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasing in incidence globally. Acute kidney injury in Australia: a first national snapshot presents the first national statistical snapshot on AKI and its impact in Australia.

    The key findings show that AKI accounts for a considerable number of hospitalisations and deaths and further, that the burden of this condition is not equally distributed across the Australian population. These inequalities were seen in relation to all population characteristics examined, namely sex and age, remoteness of residence, socioeconomic disadvantage and Indigenous status.

    Media release

    Monday, 7 September 2015

    A better way to care: actions for health service managers

    A better way to care: actions for health service managers, produced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, describes a pathway to improve the early recognition of, and response to, patients with cognitive impairment to reduce harm and ensure they receive safe and high-quality care in hospital. Cognitive impairment impedes communication, attention, memory, thinking and problem solving. Dementia and delirium are the two most common conditions associated with cognitive impairment. People with dementia are also at a greater risk of developing delirium.

    For some people with dementia and/or delirium and for their carers and families, a hospital stay can be a negative experience. Staff can also struggle to provide the right care in the absence of appropriate education and training. Dementia and/or delirium in hospital is often associated with adverse outcomes, including functional decline, increased risk of falls, increased morbidity and mortality. These adverse outcomes can lead to a longer length of stay in hospital and an increased risk of entry into residential care.

    There are evidence-based ways to improve the care of patients with cognitive impairment in acute care and considerable work is under way within health systems at all levels to implement these improvements. However, there are currently no mechanisms for requiring best practice and few processes that support a systematic approach to the provision of care.


    Project page

    Mental Health Rights Manual

    Consumers, carers and mental health workers struggling to understand their rights within the NSW mental health system have a new resource to guide them through. The fourth edition of the Mental Health Rights Manual has been published this week by the Mental Health Coordinating Council

    Written in plain English, the Manual is an invaluable readily accessible resource, bringing together vital information crucial to anyone having to navigate the mental health system, enabling them to become acquainted with their rights, the legal and service system, and access support and guidance.

    A key objective of this Manual is to provide a resource which covers many of the areas which may at some time or other be of concern to people with mental health conditions, their carers and families, and the workforce that supports them that they can access in one place.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015

    Indigenous collections on the Cochrane Library.

    Since 2002, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR), and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) have been working together on initiatives to improve Indigenous people's health. To commemorate this year's event, contributors from these organizations and Cochrane have prepared a series of Special Collections focusing on health issues relevant to Indigenous people.

    The Special Collections, available on the Cochrane Library, focus on available Cochrane evidence in three topic areas, each of which has significant health implications for Indigenous populations: diabetes, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and suicide prevention.

    Special Collection

    Special Collection

    Special Collection


    Health of Indigenous peoples: suicide prevention