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This project is part of the Wobbly Hub and Double Spokes (WH&DS) project.
Aim: To obtain the perspectives of policy makers, managers and senior therapists about the issues affecting the therapist workforce and service delivery in the disability sector in rural and remote New South Wales.
Approach: Information was gathered via semi-structured interviews with individuals and small groups. Head office and regional office policy-makers, along with managers and senior therapists in western NSW were invited to participate. Participants included 12 policy-makers, 28 managers and 10 senior therapists from NSW government agencies and non-government organisations (NGO's) involved in providing services and support to people with disabilities in the region. Information was synthesised prior to using constant comparative analysis within and across data sets to identify issues.
Outcomes: Five broad themes resonated across participants' roles, locations and service settings:
Although commitment to providing best practice services was universal, policy-related information transfer between organistaion and employees was inconsistent. Relative recent innovations such as therapy assistants, information technology and trans-disciplinary approaches, were raised as important service delivery considerations within the region. These and other innovations are intended to extend the coverage provided by therapists. NGOs played a significant role in service delivery and support in the region, and there is also a need for therapists working for different organisation, in rural areas, to collaborate both in terms of peer support and service delivery to clients.
Dr Angela Dew
Wobbly Hub and Double Spokes Project
75 East Street, T Building
LIDCOMBE NSW 2141
Ph: +61 2 9351 9050
Fax: +61 2 9351 9128