Joondalup Health Campus
Part of Ramsay Health Care


New partnership brings a breath of fresh air to Joondalup

Dec 05, 2018

A new partnership between WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), Joondalup Health Campus (JHC), and Silver Chain is aiming to improve the lives of people living with long-term lung disease by helping them to stay well and out of hospital.

 WAPHA has worked closely with Silver Chain to employ a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease health coordinator at Joondalup Health Campus

 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a number of diseases that prevent effective breathing. It is one of the highest causes of potentially preventable hospitalisations in Western Australia.

WAPHA has worked closely with Silver Chain to employ a COPD health coordinator at JHC to help local people living with these diseases to transition from hospital to primary care.

WAPHA General Manager, Linda Richardson says rates of respiratory system disease are relatively high in the northern suburbs of Perth and the gaps identified in post-hospital management could be a contributing factor to hospital re-admission rates.

  “The COPD health coordinator position has been designed to link patients to primary care services after they have been discharged from hospital and work closely with them on managing their condition at home.

“The coordinator will also facilitate education events to upskill GPs, so they can better support people living with COPD in the community,” Ms Richardson said.

JHC physiotherapist and project coordinator Elisabeth Johns said the new role will act as an advocate for the person living with COPD in the community and ensure they do all the things they need to do to stay well and out of hospital.

“When people with these conditions go home, they may not self-manage their condition well or attend appointments. This in turn leads to them becoming acutely unwell and re-presenting to the emergency department,” Ms Johns said.

Tish Morrison, Director of Clinical Operations at Silver Chain says this new model of care puts greater emphasis on care co-ordination.

“The COPD nurse coordinator will work closely with both the JHC team and the patient to ensure they are appropriately linked with primary care services and have the education they need to self-manage their condition,” Ms Morrison said.

Federal Member for Moore, Ian Goodenough MP agrees primary care and hospital services working together is key to improving the lives of COPD patients in the Joondalup area.

“I am hopeful this new partnership model will lead to improved quality of life for local people living with COPD, who can easily become house-bound or find themselves continually in and out of hospital,” Mr Goodenough said.

This activity has been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government under the PHN Program.