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Rural Northwest Health will launch its new model of care next month to help the community to live well and ensure better health outcomes for all.

The approach relies on a navigation team made up of wellbeing coordinators. The coordinators are qualified clinicians with specialised training specific to their roles.

Rural Northwest Health community health manager Ngareta Melgren helped develop the program based on the Wagner Model of Care for chronic disease.

Ms Melgren said the navigation team would respond to health risks and needs, focusing on the individual and their specific needs.

“In the first instance however, they will secure immediate health issues,” Ms Melgren said.

“A wellbeing coordinator will have a conversation with the client to identify their overall health needs including their social needs,” she said.

“The conversation could be done over the phone or in-person depending on what is more appropriate for the client.

“It will be thorough because it could be important that we identify their social needs as well as any health issues.

“Things like accessing transport and basic social needs can impact hugely on health and wellbeing.”

Ms Melgren said that after the wellbeing coordinator assessed the information uncovered from the conversation and identified the client’s goals and needs, a plan of care would be formed.

“The plan of care will include an appropriate level and type of care,” she said.

“The client can then choose the most suitable streams of care and from that, the wellbeing coordinator will generate the necessary referrals.”

Ms Melgren said every plan of care would be based on individual needs.

“The wellbeing coordinator’s role doesn’t end with the plan of care,” she said.

“They will offer continual support throughout the journey until the client can self-manage.

“They will be like a health angel to the client, following their journey continuously and there is no fee for their support.”

Ms Melgren said the idea of the navigation team was to help people of all ages to live well and keep well.

Yarriambiack services such as Hopetoun’s Gateway BEET, Warracknabeal Neighbourhood House and Murtoa’s SLAAM are partners in the new program. The organisations will offer supportive programs directly related to the community’s more predominant health and wellbeing issues.

Promotion for the new model of care will be based on prompting people to consider how they are feeling and whether they need support to improve their health and wellbeing.

Ms Melgren said health providers and other services would support the program by identifying health risks in individuals and connecting them to the navigation team.

“We don’t want to rely solely on these groups though,” she said.

“We want concerned friends and family to encourage loved ones to contact the navigation team but we also want people to ask for help.”

Rural Northwest Health is appointing six wellbeing coordinators to cover Hopetoun, Beulah and Warracknabeal communities. This free service will begin on July 3 so to contact a wellbeing coordinator after then, phone free call 1800 667 301.

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