West Moreton Health has answered a call for help from their north Queensland colleagues in the wake of the devastating flood event.
Social workers, mental health clinicians, environmental health officers and an anaesthetic nurse from West Moreton Health are among the army of Queensland helpers who have converged on Townsville to lend a hand during the region’s flooding emergency.
Social workers Lynette Kindt, Sara Ellis and Catherine Stanbrook, who normally work in Ipswich Hospital’s Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit Women, Children and Family services, will be based at Townsville Hospital for the next week. Chris Watkins and Palani Thevar, from Mental Health and Specialised Services’ community and acute care teams also deployed last Friday to help deliver immediate services and prepare the community for long-term recovery.
Since then, offers to help have continued to flow. Two members of West Moreton Health’s Public Health Unit, Bruce Morton and Deborah Hemmes, anaesthetic nurse Helen Owen Cooper and mental health clinician Jodi-Ann Maguire all deployed to Townsville earlier this week.
Social Work Director Fiona Demnar said the three social workers, who were among the first to be deployed to the stricken area, would help their northern counterparts respond to the increased demand for social support in the wake of the floods, and cover for Townsville social workers whose homes have been directly impacted by the floods.
“The three social workers have experience responding to crisis events like this and will be able to assess and respond to social support needs of vulnerable people who may be either displaced or vulnerable, or whose usual care needs have been disrupted by the flooding.”
Ms Demnar said the deployed team had prior crisis experiencing responding to natural disasters, including in Ipswich, Roma and Bundaberg.
“The Ipswich region and surrounds has of course weathered devastating floods, most recently in 2011, and we know the toll it can take on people.
“We are happy to be able to assist those in other parts of the state in their time of need.’’