Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) and Parkinson’s Victoria have received federal government funding of $1.69 million for a pilot project that aims to give specialised care for people living with movement disorders in the Great South Coast and Wimmera Grampians regions.
WVPHN and Parkinson’s Victoria applied for the funding for projects that deliver better health outcomes for the community in partnership with South West Healthcare, Wimmera Health Care Group, Rural Northwest Health and Grampians Community Health.
WVPHN Chief Executive Officer Rowena Clift said: “To receive this project funding is a huge step forward for the health of the communities in Great South Coast and Wimmera Grampians. Every one of our communities across western Victoria has different needs, so delivering localised primary health care that addresses these varying requirements is the best way forward in ensuring that the Great South Coast and Wimmera Grampians communities receive the equitable care they requires most.”
The ‘Western Region Movement Disorder Better Care’ pilot ($1.69 million over four years across western Victoria) will aim to deliver accessible specialised care for people living with movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease in rural and remote western Victoria where a prevalence cluster has been identified.
Parkinson’s Victoria CEO Emma Colin said: “Parkinson’s Victoria welcomes the Department of Health funding. We see enormous need to build the clinical capacity and specialist knowledge of movement disorders in rural and remote areas of western Victoria. Parkinson’s is a highly complex condition and access to specialist local advice will help people to better manage their condition and live well.”
The pilot will support a movement disorder nurse in Warrnambool, Horsham, Warracknabeal and Stawell and will build local specialist knowledge in clinical support and provide care coordination to build the capability of people living with complex movement disorders to better manage their condition, increase their access to referral pathways, treatments and therapies in order to deliver better health outcomes in the region.
South West Healthcare Executive Director of Primary and Community Services Kerryn Anderson said: “South West Healthcare is excited to partner with Western Victoria PHN to deliver both this exciting project. Dedicated expertise in delivery of service for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders is something the community has been advocating for some time, and to now have the opportunity to deliver a dedicated service will provide great outcomes for people with what is a really debilitating condition.”
Wimmera Health Care Group CEO Catherine Morley said: “We’ve been working with a number of community members over the last two years to try and improve the services available to those living with movement disorders and this is a great outcome. We will continue to work with our communities to make sure we deliver the services that meet their needs.”
A strong advocate for better support for those with complex movement disorders is Andrew Suggett from Warrnambool Parkinson’s Support Group, who said: “The placement of a specialist nurse in the area will be absolutely life changing for some of us here in Warrnambool. To have local help to answer queries and access services will give the support needed to live with Parkinson’s day-to-day rather than to wait and travel to get support.”
WVPHN and Parkinson’s Victoria will now embark on the process of delivering this pilot project to the community.