The Health Professional Education Project (Education Project) commenced in February 2021, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
The Education Project is one component of the National Strategic Action Plan for Childhood Heart Disease (Action Plan), announced by Minister Greg Hunt in February 2019. The Action Plan resulted from several years of consultation between Government, health professionals, children and families impacted by childhood-onset heart disease (CoHD), and advocacy from HeartKids Australia.
The objective of the Education Project is to develop a suite of resources for health professionals that support integrated, quality health care for all stages of the CoHD care pathway.
Key focus areas for these resources were identified in the Action Plan:
- Patient and family-centred care for people with CoHD
- Physical, psychological, social and cognitive impacts of CoHD
- Co-morbidities, including neurological impairment
- Culturally safe and appropriate communication and counselling techniques
- Support for health professionals to minimise burnout and compassion fatigue
- Referral pathways
- Improving knowledge of primary care doctors, nursing staff and general paediatricians and cardiologists about the special needs of people with CoHD
- Improving knowledge of nursing, allied health practitioners as well as personnel providing patient services and support about the needs of CoHD patients, families and carers.
Education Project resources will be designed to complement and build upon the extensive knowledge and existing tools within the healthcare community. Investment in digital technology and the development of multimodal resources will cater to a range of learning styles, needs and settings.
Priority will be given to areas of known disadvantage, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young adults transitioning from paediatric to adult health services, and people living in remote, rural, or regional locations.
Phase one of the Education Project will run over two years (2021-2022), with an intent to expand delivered content in 2023 and 2024. Stakeholder partnerships will be sought throughout the project to ensure the CoHD community, including individuals impacted by CoHD, health professionals, professional bodies, government, and non-government organisations are involved with the development of resources. All Education Project resources will be aligned with the Australian Standards of Care for CoHD and, where possible, will be accredited by relevant professional bodies.
For more information on the Education Project, please contact:
Dr Suzanne Long
Education Project Coordinator