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North West Queensland Inter-Agency Allied Health Workforce Strategy

Background

Allied Health service providers and commissioners in north west Queensland met in Mount Isa in November 2019 to discuss the challenges and opportunities for workforce sustainability in the region. A significant outcome of this meeting was broad endorsement of a scoping project that would aim to develop a strategy that enabled an inter-agency, collaborative, regional approach to allied health workforce development including recruitment, retention and capacity building, in health services in north west Queensland.

Scoping Project (March - June 2020)

The scoping project was conducted between March and June 2020. Key project findings are provided in North West Queensland Inter-agency Allied Health Workforce Strategy – Scoping Project Report. Extensive consultation with key stakeholders identified challenges, risks, and possible solutions to allied health workforce sustainability. A focus on early career workforce development using the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway was chosen, reflecting the workforce profile and identified opportunities to create a local “own grown’ approach.

North West Queensland Inter-agency Allied Health Workforce Strategy - Scoping Project Report

Project Report: Attachment 2 - Policy Brief

Two-Year Implementation Plan

The scoping project proposed a preliminary 2-year period of evaluated implementation of a collaborative, inter-agency workforce strategy. The strategy includes the following enabling components: 

  • Allied health rural generalist training positions are established in participating health services that currently employ early-career practitioners; 

  • Training position incumbents (“trainees”) undertake post-graduate coursework and work-based training in rural generalist practice relevant to their specific profession and role;

  • Health services access training grants that cover education costs and assist the employing organisation to address barriers to training and support for early-career practitioners;

  • A service commissioning model that enables primary care services to allocate training and supervision time; 

  • Inter-agency collaboration that can generate greater resources for supporting early career allied health professionals than individual organisations could source or allocate independently; and 

  • A critical mass of allied health rural generalist trainees, partnership with the local health education provider, and adopting a training cohort approach to optimise supervision, learning support, and peer engagement while moderating each individual organisation’s investment requirements.

Recently, Cath Maloney from SARRAH sat down with Chris Mitchell and Sarah Venn from Health Workforce Queensland to discuss their Northwest Queensland Interagency Allied Health.

For further information on the project, please contact Sarah Venn.