Recognition for project to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people

Six women and one man standing in a garden setting
The working group – Cheryl Smith, NMHS, Denese Griffin EMHS, Chris King TRACS WA, Jessica Sharp TRACS WA, Ian Gentle EMHS, Michelle Sultan SMHS and Helen McLean TRACS WA.
October 19, 2018

A project with the aim of achieving better health outcomes for Aboriginal people through workforce development and training is a South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) finalist in the WA Health Excellence Awards.

The Training Centre in Subacute Care (TRACS WA), in partnership with WA Health Service Providers (HSP), developed a learning module focused on Aboriginal person-centred care for subacute care clinicians.

TRACS WA Development Facilitator Helen McLean said the development of the module was a first and involved a collaborative process actively involving Aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal health professionals.

“During an 18 month period, we held five community forums which was an opportunity for open dialogue and explored ways to enhance care of Aboriginal people,” Helen said.

“From these, we identified a need for more specific training about understanding culture and cultural practices, family structures, roles and responsibilities, acknowledging historical impacts and how to communicate with and engage Aboriginal people.”

The learning module includes face-to-face training delivered by an Aboriginal and a non-Aboriginal facilitator, short videos and resources such as the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) Aboriginal Person-Centred Cultural Care Guidelines.

Helen said the most important take-away for participants was demonstrating empathy and compassion. 

“The participants are asked to challenge their own views of Aboriginal people and health,” she said.

“Better health outcomes for Aboriginal people will not be met without educating our workforce to eliminate racism and systemic discrimination.”

The learning module, which was piloted at SMHS, will be rolled out at other HSPs.

 “The delivery of person-centred care will help improve relationships between Aboriginal patients and health service providers,” Helen said.

The project is a finalist in the ‘Achieving better health outcomes for Aboriginal people’ category. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 8 November.

Follow South Metropolitan Health Service on Facebook (external site) and keep up to date with all the latest news across SMHS.