Nurse Practitioners filling in the gaps in care delivery

Nurse Practitioner Locum Solutions (NPLS) is a new, innovative service model developed by three nurse practitioners with backgrounds in emergency and acute care, clinical leadership, research and academia.

The NPLS founders identified gaps in the delivery of high-quality care initially in regional and rural healthcare settings.

NPLS aimed to fill these gaps by promoting the potential of nurse practitioner roles to meet these needs. The NPLS philosophy is to provide high quality, focused outcomes for all patients, their families and the community; that is, to deliver healthcare where it is most needed.

Rural and remote healthcare service delivery has workforce challenges that not only exist due to tyranny of distance but also as a result of access to ongoing professional development, which in turn affects retention and supply of skilled health professionals. There is evidence that healthcare delivery is creating a strain on existing services, both locally and internationally.

While rural and regional areas have their own specific needs, and therefore specific deficits in terms of the provision of responsive services, these communities are not alone in their predicament.

Addressing the rural, regional and remote community needs, requires a different response than that of the metropolitan and urban communities.

NPLS believe they understand these issues, the differing needs of community populations and therefore attempt to address these needs accordingly. The NPLS service promotes a degree of continuity and encourages individual organisations to rethink their own workforce to better meet the population’s needs.

With that in mind NPLS strive to deliver healthcare on the afterhours and on call periods to maintain timely and consistent levels of high-quality healthcare to meet the needs of individual communities. The benefits of this model are an improvement in access to quality health services for each community served.

Primarily, in response to these challenges and the opportunities available to improve regional and rural health service delivery, NPLS developed a strategy to add value to the future planning of healthcare services. Following a structured plan to identify how these needs could be met and addressed, NPLS created a service structure model which was submitted to services which were identified as potentially in need. NPLS now provides a service whereby nurse practitioners are empowered to utilise their full scope of practice to deliver a high-level service for the afterhours/on call periods in a number of rural and regional communities.

The NPLS service prides itself on providing quality, cost efficient healthcare able to improve individual and community health outcomes. The value of the NPLS model is the provision of a transparent, reliable service that delivers consistent and accessible healthcare which is dependent upon the clinical need.

The NPLS model of healthcare delivery is flexible and dynamic, dependent upon the needs of the local community and the inherent need of the individual healthcare service provider.

The flexibility of the NPLS services is demonstrated through the various models, including the afterhours and on call healthcare cover to urgent care centres; the adjacent acute wards; and the onsite residential aged care facilities as and when necessary. Working collaboratively with healthcare services, NPLS strives to meet, and at times exceed the requirements of the health service vision, mission, values and objectives in rural, regional and urban areas. NPLS was formed as a business able to deliver necessary clinical services to the community. The company now provides clear nursing leadership in a variety of organisations through actively developing, mentoring and supporting collegial relationships with all members of the healthcare team at the health service.

NPLS founders believe that they have a role and responsibility to the overall healthcare system to enable the provision of quality health outcomes and reduce gaps in service where able. Further, the directors of NPLS are committed to providing further information about the NP role which can influence health policy, leading to a reality whereby all Australian communities have their specific healthcare needs met.

The true benefits of NPLS are evident in:

  1. the provision of a service able to augment existing services,
  2. provision of a service that can be measured in terms of real outcomes to the health service,
  3. key measurable deliverables that result in improvements to the local community.

A number of local rural and regional communities are reaping the benefits of our services in the short term, and this is expected to continue to improve patient focused outcomes in the medium and long term. This is evidenced not only through anecdotal evidence from the services who have accepted our model of care, but also from patient experiences with the service. NPLS hopes to further expand its reach into rural and regional communities and are actively seeking NPs to join our team to enhance our current model.

Currently NPLS are providing services in Maryborough, Seymour, Apollo Bay and Colac in Victoria as well as providing relief cover at Fitzroy Crossing WA and the Mallee Border in SA.

The service is planning to expand throughout Australia, starting with more locations within Victoria.

NPLS are looking for more NPs with a speciality in emergency in any location within Victoria.

For more details:

PH: 0473 401 777

Grainnie Lowe, Kathy Tori and Tash Jennings are Nurse Practitioners and Directors for Nurse Practitioner Locum Solutions

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