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  • Ensuring the continuity of health services to rural and remote communities around Australia

    Author: Health Times

Bradley Pickering, Nurse Unit Manager at Otway Health, explains how this life-saving Australian Government-funded program ensures the continuity of health services to the community in Apollo Bay, Victoria, by providing their multi-purpose health service with locum nurses to cover staff that go on much need leave.

Please click here to watch the video or read the transcript below.

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“My name is Bradley Pickering and I am the clinical nurse manager at Otway Health.

“Being so remote and regionally located Rural LAP has been a lifesaver.

“Otway Health is a multi-purpose service, one of the few in Victoria. That means that we hold acute and emergency care, we hold general practice and we hold aged care all in one building.

“The types of presentations we get here are like any regional centres, however, being in such a picturesque location along the southern Victorian coast, it means that we get a huge influx of clients over the summer period.

“I’ve come from a larger regional centre in Queensland. Until moving to a rural centre, I didn't quite understand the complexities of staffing especially going into a management role.

“So, we've faced a lot of different challenges when we try to backfill staff. We struggle in not only keeping staff because of succession planning but not having a large casual bank. For the staff here it means that in those times where they want to spend with family, we really struggle in releasing too many people.

“Rural LAP provides significant benefit to the regional areas. The ability for us to apply for a locum and then not have to pay for the travel and accommodation, it just provides us with that reassurance that we can get a locum a lower rate than what we would if we had to go for an agency staff member but still maintain that high quality of replacement staff.

“Their level of knowledge and their willingness to integrate with the team and the way that they approach their patients as well as their clinical ability has been nothing short of exceptional. They translate some of that knowledge to the staff that are here, providing better care for the community.

“I don't think I would be able to operate or give my staff the relief that they need if it wasn't for an organisation such as Rural LAP”.


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