Allied Health Assistants

 Allied Health officers image
Welcome to the Allied Health Assistant website where important information concerning the allied health assistant workforce will be posted and updatedInformation on career opportunities, workforce projects and professional development events will be added as they arise.

What is an Allied Health Assistant?

Allied health assistants support and assist the work of allied health professionals by undertaking a range of tasks, both clinical and non-clinical,enabling the allied health professional to focus on more complex clinical work and/or to provide care to a greater number of patients.

Allied health assistants typically work in one or a combination of the following allied health disciplines-dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology.

Clinical settings in which an allied health assistant might typically work include acute care, rehabilitation, aged care, mental health and community care. Whilst allied health assistants work within a clearly defined scope of practice the role is also flexible and frequently includes a mix of direct patient care and indirect support.

Where do allied health assistants work?

ACT Health employs allied health assistants in a wide range of disciplines-exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology.

Clinical settings include acute care, rehabilitation and aged care at the Canberra Hospital, Calvary Hospital-Bruce, Calvary John James Hospital-Deakin,National Capital Private Hospital-Garran and at Queanbeyan and surrounding hospitals.

Community and transitional care roles include those located at community health centres and other community based services.

Roles in mental health are currently located at the Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre in Bruce.

Information on current vacancies can be obtained from a range of sources, including:

ACT Health Allied Health Assistant Clinical Development Coordinator maintains an email distribution list of allied health assistants in the ACT-one of the purposes of which is to communicate information on job opportunities as they arise.

Phone (02) 6207 2081 for further information.

Allied Health Assistant Network

The Allied Health Assistant Network was formally launched by the ACT Health Director-General Dr Peggy Brown at an official ceremony on 3rd September 2013.

The network seeks to bring together all allied health assistants working in the ACT for the purpose of information and resource sharing, networking and connections, professional development and shared learning.

The AHA Network quality improvement project was awarded an ACT Health Better Practice Corporate Award, in September 2015, by the Healthcare Improvement Division. Congratulations to the project team Leanne Pagett, Sally Ranford, Judy Stone, Bettina Griffiths, Bob Cargill, Lorraine Bockwinkel and Heather Whisker, Dale Jorgensen.

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Allied Health Assistant Network Meetings

Join us for Professional Development, latest news and updates, and networking with other Allied Health Assistants and some pre Christmas cheer.

Next meeting

Tuesday 6th December 2016 2:30 - 4:30 pm

Weston Creek Community centre, main hall, Parkinson Street, Weston Creek (free parking Cooleman Court Shopping Centre car park or in front of Independent Living Centre)

Topics – Palliative Care and the AHA role, Credentialing for AHAs, collecting Data in allied health

 

Supervision and delegation

The Chief Allied Health Office, through the Allied Health Assistant Clinical Development Coordinator, recently oversaw the launch of the Supervision and delegation framework for allied health assistants-a guide to governance in the ACT.

The publication was reproduced from the Victorian framework with the permission of the Victorian Government.

Workshops are currently being offered to supervising allied health professionals within ACT Health and Calvary Health Care ACT to help facilitate an understanding of how to use the framework when working with allied health assistants.

Three courses are scheduled for November 2014 and bookings can be made on Capabiliti.

Rewards and Recognition

Award for Allied Health Assistant Excellence

The Chief Allied Health Office coordinates and supports the annual Allied Health Awards for Excellence. There are currently seven award categories including the Award for Allied Health Assistant Excellence.

Nominations for the 2014 awards round are now open and close Friday 13th February 2015.
Full details regarding the Scheme including Information for Nominators and the Nomination Application Form can be downloaded at the main awards site health.act.gov.au/professionals/allied-health/awards-for-excellence/

Past nominees and recipients of the Award for Allied Health Assistant Excellence have included:

  • Leanne O'Callaghan-Occupational Therapy assistant, Community Care (2010 recipient)
    Other Nominees
    Trent Fenton-Physiotherapy assistant, Community Care
    Bob Cargill-Occupational Therapy assistant, RACC
  • Sharon Kettle-Physiotherapy assistant, Calvary Health Care ACT (2011 recipient)
  • Annie Proctor-Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy assistant, Community Rehabilitation Team, RACC(2012 recipient)
    Other Nominees
    Brianan Jones-Allied health assistant working across OT, PT and Social Work,RACC
  • Emma Whitehead-Physiotherapy assistant, Community Care (2013 recipient)jo dix AHA award 2016.png
  • 2014 Jaspreet Singh, Physiotherapy AHA, RACC Canberra Hospital and Health Service (2014 recipient)
  • 2015/16 Jo Dix , Advanced Allied Health Assistant, Transitional Therapy Care Program, Rehab Aged Community Care

Workforce Projects

Current Projects

In 2013 the Chief Allied Health Office sponsored two projects (see Past Projects for work undertaken between 2004-2009) aimed at enhancing the development of the allied health assistant role.

Supervision and delegation framework for allied health assistants-a guide to governance in the ACT

In collaboration with the Victorian Department of Health the ACT Health Chief Allied Health Office secured a licence to reproduce the Victorian supervision and delegation framework, including permission to adapt the publication to reflect the allied health workforce in the ACT.

The Victorian framework, developed in association with Healthcare Management Advisors Pty Ltd, was designed to support allied health professionals to:

  • better understand the range of roles allied health assistants can play in patient care
  • better understand the supervision and delegation responsibilities of an allied health professional working with an allied health assistant

ACT Supervision and delegation framework

Victorian Department of Health publication

Advanced Allied Health Assistant Scoping Project

This project sought to scope advanced allied health assistant roles and to assess their potential to contribute to the safe delivery of quality allied health services. A further compoent of the project was to design an educational pathway that provides skills escalation and career development to a Diploma or equivalent qualification.

A discussion paper Advanced Allied Health Assistants: an Emerging Workforce was completed by the project officer and is attached. Now available on the Australian Health Review website:

Contact Officer
Leanne Pagett
ACT Health Allied Health Assistant Clinical Development Coordinator
Phone (02) 6207 2081
Leanne.Pagett@act.gov.au

 

Past Projects

ACT Health, through the Chief Allied Health Office in partnership with key stakeholders, has undertaken a number of workforce projects to support the development of an allied health assistant workforce in the ACT.

These projects have flowed on from establishment of the Certificate III and IV in Allied Health Assistance course at the Canberra Institute of Technology which accepted its first enrolments in 2006. In the initial years students could elect to specialise in occupational therapy assistance, physiotherapy assistance and/or speech pathology assistance.

Following the success of these initial enrolments the program expanded in 2008 and accepted enrolments from students wishing to undertake the nutrition or podiatry competencies.

A number of key workforce projects were undertaken between 2004-2009 to both inform development of the training course and to examine options for up-skilling existing staff staff to complete the Certificate III or IV qualification. For a list of the projects and related publications please refer below.