Quality of care report 2012/13

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Nursing role created to support people with Parkinson's in the Goulburn Valley / Chronic illness care


Sheree Ambrosini, Movement Disorder Nurse

Unique funding arrangement spurs pilot program.

A new position has been created for a Movement Disorder Nurse in the Goulburn Valley, as the result of a ground-breaking funding arrangement between Goulburn Valley Health, Parkinson’s Victoria and the Shepparton Parkinson’s Support Group.

The first of its kind in Australia, the funding arrangement involves three stakeholder groups, outside of government, which are joining forces to deliver the funding and conditions required to employ a full- time Movement Disorder Nurse for the Goulburn Valley region.

The three organisations are co-funding the new position for the first two years as a pilot program.

One of the key fundraising groups, Parkinson’s Victoria, plans to use the Goulburn Valley model to pave the way for similar positions to be created across regional Victoria.

Parkinson’s Victoria CEO Emma Collin said “This is welcome news for people who live with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders in the Goulburn Valley.

“This role will ensure easier, better and more efficient access to specialist medical advice, which will improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s and their carers and families,” said Ms Collin.

GV Health Divisional Clinical Director of Medicine, Dr Arup Bhattacharya said that for a long time, patients with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders have been frustrated about having to travel to Melbourne for review.
“With the establishment of a local movement disorder clinic, and now the addition of a dedicated movement disorder nurse, we are able to offer a comprehensive and fulfilling service to those living with Parkinson’s  in the Goulburn Valley,” said Dr Bhattacharya.

The Movement Disorder Nurse brings many benefits to the community by:

  • delivering care closer to people’s homes (in most cases in their homes)
  • being able to attend quickly to emergency situations
  • educating patients and carers about the Parkinson’s and providing information and insight as to what to expect
  • being able to provide links to valuable support services, such as speech therapy and physiotherapy
  • providing education to hospital and care home staff about how to care for people with Parkinson’s 
  • serving as a liaison between the local support group and patients
  • assisting local GPs to care for people with Parkinson’s 
  • reducing wait times for specialist review

The Movement Disorder Nurse not only supports people with Parkinson’s, but also other conditions commonly misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, such as Progressive Surpanuclear Palsy and Multiple System Atrophy.

Specialist Neurological Nurse, Sheree Ambrosini, WAS recruited to the role. Originally from the Goulburn Valley, Sheree has vast experience working with neurological patients across several Melbourne hospitals.

Introduction of Movement Disorder Nurse video