An evidence-based approach to podiatry workforce enhancement and service provision in Western Victoria

Mercer, C., Schoo, A. and Dunbar, J. 2006, An evidence-based approach to podiatry workforce enhancement and service provision in Western Victoria, in GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts, Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, [Perth, W.A.].

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Title An evidence-based approach to podiatry workforce enhancement and service provision in Western Victoria
Author(s) Mercer, C.
Schoo, A.
Dunbar, J.
Conference name General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference (2006 : Perth, W.A.)
Conference location Perth, W.A.
Conference dates 5-7 Jul. 2006
Title of proceedings GP & PHC 2006 : Optimising Impact : 2006 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference Abstracts
Publication date 2006
Publisher Primary Health Care Research and Information Service
Place of publication [Perth, W.A.]
Summary Aims & rationale/Objectives : The objectives of this workforce and service enhancement project include: (i) establishing the magnitude of podiatry needs; and (ii) developing a model that can be used to enhance podiatry workforce and podiatry services.
Methods : Surveys to podiatrists and health agencies to determine vacancies, waiting lists, work practices and recruitment methods. Desktop analysis of predictive data for burden of disease and population changes per local government area (LGA). Meetings with podiatrists and their professional association, health care agencies, universities, and Local and State Governments.
Principal findings : Results showed
Long podiatry waiting lists (up to 12 months)
Podiatry vacancies and service gaps
Absence of qualified foot assistants
A high chronic disease burden
A population age mix that is predicted to change dramatically over the next 25 years in favour of those who are 60 years of age or older
Ineffective recruitment methods
The workforce enhancement model that emanated from the meetings with the steering group includes podiatrists as well as auxiliaries such as foot-care assistants who work together in an interprofessional model of care that expands across the region. In addition to training foot-care assistants and the development of a podiatry teaching clinic to enhance student placement, the model builds onto a current continuous professional development program for allied health professionals.
Discussion : Although the allied health workforce (including podiatry) is playing an increasingly important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, rural areas in particular are disadvantaged by recruitment and retention problems. The podiatry workforce shortage is compounded by ageing populations. Age is associated with increased podiatry usage due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis.
Implications : A strategic plan developed in consultation with stakeholders aims to improve rural podiatry services in a sustainable manner. The project will be implemented when adequate funding is allocated this year and will be evaluated on its impact on services.
Presentation type : Paper
Language eng
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E3 Extract of paper
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30014767

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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