District Nursing Service Available Through PDH

Julie Marsh-DNS, Bob Gower-Client & Lesa Munn-DNS
Thursday, 30 March 2017
Portland District Health’s district nursing service might be one of the great unsung services offered to the community.

Everyone who uses the service provides positive feedback, but many say they hadn't previously been aware of what it could offer.

District Nursing unit manager Jo Spurge said a lot of people don't realise they can access the service which brings health services to people in their homes.

"People love the service, Ms Spurge said. The feedback is always positive but they often say they didn't know the service existed.

PDH has a team of about 10 district nurses who are all qualified Division One Registered Nurses.

The service is available 8am-9pm seven days a week and is open to anyone.

No-one is excluded, Ms Spurge said.

The service is provided through the Community Home Support Program (previously Home and Community Care) and is also available through Hospital in the Home, Veterans Affairs, TAC, WorkCover and post-acute clients.

Ms Spurge said district nurses could provide a range of services including medication advice and monitoring, diabetes management, hygiene assistance, wound management and bandage replacement.

The nurses liaise closely with GPs who remain the central figure in the care process. If it's for something like replacing bandages, the visiting nurses can do that at home which means people don't have to drive to their doctor, Ms Spurge said.

There are different fee structures for the service which are discussed with clients on admission.

PDH provides a service within a 15-kilometre radius around Portland.

People don't need to go through a doctor for a referral, but if referring a friend they need their consent.

People wanting to learn more about the service can contract district nursing ward clerk Trish Rawlings on 5521 0674.

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