Allied Health Development Grants making a difference
November 30, 2023
Earlier this year, Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN provided a capped number of Allied Health Development Grants in response to the significant demand for services being experienced by local health professionals due to workforce shortages and the unsustainable patient volumes. These grants were provided to assist health professionals to build workforce capacity within the primary health care sector to:
- Improve health outcomes for community members, particularly in regional and remote areas.
- Enhance sustainability of the allied health workforce.
- Provide opportunities for collaboration between health professionals involved in patient care.
- Support alternative models of service delivery.
Mind Science & My Health (MSMH) is one of the many practices that received a Development Grant. MSMH is a private practice hosting several mental health service providers including Clinical Psychologists, Registered Psychologists, and Counsellors. The team includes Clinical Registrars, Registered Counsellors, and Provisional Psychologists working under supervision toward higher qualifications.
Michelle Aniftos, Director at MSMH, reflected on how the grant is making a difference at her practices.
“We are so appreciative of the startup funds we received to grow the SB mental health workforce!
We have secured an office five days a week at Taabinga Medical. We successfully recruited a registered psychologist to work there on two days per week and Anita commenced in May. She has been able to provide approximately 70-80 occasions of service to date for over 20 consumers.
…we have capacity to increase by 0.6 FTE. We will fill this for now with outreach from our existing workforce in the Toowoomba office and by attracting UQ Rural Placement students who will typically be with us three days per week for 24 weeks,” said Ms Aniftos.
The PHN hopes that these grants will continue to make a difference in addressing some of the key challenges faced by the allied health sector, including a shortage of new graduates, retention issues - particularly in rural settings, the impacts of NDIS on workforce and demands, and a lack of networking and professional development opportunities.