What is the Integrated Care Centre at Clarence?
The Clarence Integrated Care Centre (ICC) was built in two stages on the previous Clarence Community Health Centre site in Bayfield Street, Rosny Park. Stage 1 of the Clarence Integrated Care Centre was opened on 4 July 2011 and Stage 2 was officially opened by the Premier on 13 July 2012.
The ICC offers a range of health services including:
- Services, at the local level, for people with complex health care needs who have traditionally had to travel to hospital to gain access to their health care services (e.g. Respiratory and Dietetics Clinics);
- Effective management of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma;
- Access to GP services through the Clarence GP Super Clinic operating under the same roof as the ICC;
- A range of other primary health care services (e.g. dental, adult mental health services and allied health);
- An Ambulatory Care Centre
The project was jointly funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments. The original budget for the redevelopment was $18 million however after an agreement was finalised at the end of January 2009 for Department of Health and Human Services to receive funding from the Australian Government for the GP Super Clinic, the original offer of $5 million was increased to $5.5 million, which took the total cost of the project to $18.5 million.
Why was the Integrated Care Centre developed?
- To provide more accessible health care with an emphasis on prevention;
- New technologies mean there are now options for providing some services in community settings such as Clarence rather than in a hospital setting;
- In many situations hospitalisation can be avoided by helping people with the management of their chronic health conditions and regular monitoring. This is a better situation for both patients and the health system;
- To decrease pressure on public hospitals that lead to long waiting times;
- In 2008 the Australian Government introduced the GP Super Clinic program to address access to GP services across Australia. Its support enhances the potential for the Clarence Integrated Care Centre.
What are the benefits of an Integrated Care Centre Model?
The benefits to residents of Clarence and the surrounding region include:
- Easier access, less travel for clients and shorter waiting times for people who currently require frequent visits to the Royal Hobart Hospital;
- The ability for GPs to more closely monitor client attendance at the Integrated Care Centre and provide overall health management;
- People with chronic health conditions will not be hospitalised as often because of early identification of relapses and complications;
- Extends and compliments existing services in the area and provides greater capacity for outreach;
- A local GP service, for those who require it, which operates as part of a comprehensive multi-professional team;
- Access to other primary health care services at the local level.
As the name suggests, the Integrated Care Centre is not just about services operating under the one roof. It is about ensuring these services work together to provide the best client care and that clients only have to tell their story once and will be assisted to navigate through the system.
A key role in training health care professionals and conducting research
The Integrated Care Centre will make a significant contribution to training health care professionals for the future. It will collaborate with the University of Tasmania and GP Training Tasmania to achieve this.
It will also work with the Menzies Research Institute to determine what methods of chronic disease prevention and management work effectively. Tasmania has an ageing population and the incidence of chronic health conditions is increasing dramatically. The Integrated Care Centre model is one which will help us to address this changing community need.
Complementing existing GP and other health care services
The Integrated Care Centre and GP Super Clinic are not about replacing existing private GP and allied health services on the Eastern Shore. They complement these services by providing improved access to the high level specialist care required by people with chronic and complex conditions such as angina, diabetes, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Gaining professional and community input
As part of the project a comprehensive consultation database was developed so that we could communicate with all of the groups, businesses and individuals who would have an interest in the ICC throughout its development.
Discussions were held with individuals and groups that were identified as either having a potential role in the provision of services through the Integrated Care Centre or who may have been directly affected by the new Centre.
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