2 May 2024

A Place-Based Paediatrician Clinic making a difference for Willmot Families

Members of the Together in Willmot Collective gathered to address the rising issue of children starting school and childcare with undiagnosed disabilities.

Parents expressed difficulties to access a paediatrician with barriers including transport, financial cost, fear of services, lack of awareness of the role of paediatricians, and how to access a referral. Different organisations had been utilising their own brokerage funds, case workers and transport to ensure children had access to these services but this was insufficient to meet the need and an unsustainable solution. Families and workers reported experiences of judgemental paediatricians and poor-quality assessment of the presenting concerns. The group advocated and met with the Paediatrics Department from the local health district and were successful to launch an outreach paediatric clinic in the Willmot Community Hub one day a week, with a trauma-informed paediatrician who leveraged the trust and relationships families had with local staff and the community. The paediatrician liaises successfully with the CUBS Program nursing staff, case workers, school and childcare staff, resulting in coordinated care for the children and support within the family, education and community environment. In 2024 this program received permanent funding due to the successful partnership and place-based approach.