Miss Tarrlita Kay1, Mrs Lucy Whelan2
1Bairnsdale Regional Heath Service, Bairnsdale, Australia, 2Monash Health, Kingston, Melbourne, Australia
Allied Health Assistants (AHAs) are one of the largest workforces in the Australian health industry and yet have no peak association to govern or advocate for this group of trained workers.
Consequently AHA roles are extremely varied across different sites, different organisations and even under different managers as evidenced by Sean Kinnaird’s work in 2017 (Kinnaird, S and Whelan, L NAHC 2017)
Education and resources are commonly developed for Allied Health Professionals. Without a state body to advocate, opportunities for advocacy to participate in courses is limited. Demand by far exceeds supply in this space as evidenced by Lucy Whelan’s work in 2017 (Whelan, L. NAHC 2017) and extensive national benchmarking.
Expression of interest (EOI) seeking membership to the network, was circulated widely to Victorian AHA’s which allowed the founding members to gather Information about existing local networks. It reached a wide cross section of rural and metro AHAs and also captured AHAs involved in training and assessing.
The Victorian AHA Network will be developed by AHAs for AHAs, and is considered to be innovative practice.
The inaugural State-wide Allied Health Assistant meeting is arranged for November 2018 at the Monash Health Allied Health Assistant day.
The goals for this meeting and moving forward are:
- Terms of reference to be established
- Aims and objectives to be developed
- Future meetings to be outlined
- Funding options
- Discussion of career structure including leadership roles.
Tarrlita kay – G3 AHA with 10 year history with Monash health and 3 years in Gippsland rural health setting Bairnsdale. Passionate about AHA’s and started with the development of GRAHAN (Gippsland Regional Allied health Assistant Network).
Lucy Whelan (Physiotherapist) Monash Health WISER team coordinator for AHA’s based at Kingston Centre Monash Health.