Bringing Parkinson’s specialist care to remote QLD communities

  • Left: Princess Alexandra Hospital team - Dr Tamara Canento Sanchez, Hilary Bustillo (CNC) and Chloe McKern (Admin) at the PA Hospital telehealth Centre. Right: Roma Hospital team - Kylieanne Simpson (CNC) and Jasmine Lines (Admin).

Left: Princess Alexandra Hospital team - Dr Tamara Canento Sanchez, Hilary Bustillo (CNC) and Chloe McKern (Admin) at the PA Hospital telehealth Centre. Right: Roma Hospital team - Kylieanne Simpson (CNC) and Jasmine Lines (Admin).

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition and is estimated to affect more than 130,000 people in Australia. Many of these people live in rural and remote areas, with limited access to specialist input and management that would be available in the larger city centres throughout Australia.

To help address this gap in accessibility, the South West Movement Disorder service has been providing care to rural and remote patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders in areas of Queensland since February 2023.  Our specialist neurologist flies every month to Roma Hospital and connects to telehealth consultations when not in town. Our team of Parkinson’s nurses support our patients across the South West by providing education to patients and carers, connecting with community services and creating link with tertiary clinics in Brisbane.

The clinic has not only given access for local residents to Specialist Neurologist in the treatment of their disease but also given opportunity for the rural health professionals to gain new skills and knowledge in the management of movement disorders. Our local team has joined the Brisbane clinic and enjoyed shared learning opportunities and participation in multidisciplinary care.

Local community clinics supporting patients’ access to telehealth consultations have been essential for the success of this project. For patients unable to leave home or living in remote areas, collaboration with community nurses and first nations support officers have helped them to reach this service from their own homes.

So far, over 100 patients living with Movement Disorders in the area have benefited from this clinic. Some patients may have been required to travel over 800 km to access specialist care prior to the introduction of the clinic.

Looking ahead, we are working to establish a local Parkinson’s Disease patient support group to share experiences and information with the guidance of our Parkinson’s nurses. We will continue offering educational opportunities to local staff and ensuring our rural and remote patients have access to the best specialist care.

 

Local South West Queensland health professionals are welcomed to refer patients to the Roma Hospital Movement Disorders Service.

Comment Count
0

Add new comment