A new photo exhibition at Ipswich Hospital provides an up-close look at the rehabilitation journey for people following a significant health event.
The photographic and spoken accounts from people undertaking rehabilitation at West Moreton Health documents their steady resolve as they learn to walk, talk, shower and dress again, as well as the unwavering support of the health professionals who guide their care.
Located on the way to the Ward 6B Stroke and Rehabilitation Services on Level 6 at Ipswich Hospital, the exhibition is the brainchild of the Healthcare Excellence Accelerator Lab (HEAL), a collaboration hub co-led by the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Design Lab and the Healthcare Improvement Unit at Clinical Excellence Queensland.
HEAL co-director Professor Evonne Miller said HEAL was set up to bring together designers, clinicians, consumers and improvement teams to drive design-led innovation and accelerate healthcare improvement efforts across the state.
Prof Miller said the Ipswich Hospital exhibition was a component of a project to help redesign the delivery of rehabilitation services in West Moreton.
The design team also engaged with more than 50 consumers and clinicians to better understand the purpose, triumphs and challenges of rehabilitation and design a service that could best meet the rehab needs of the West Moreton community now and into the future.
Rehabilitation services at West Moreton Health are delivered by a multidisciplinary team, including medical and nursing staff, allied health members including physiotherapists, social workers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dietitians, pharmacists, diversional therapists and allied health assistants.
West Moreton Health’s Rehabilitation Medicine Physician Dr Juan Rois said everyone had an equally important role to play in delivering care for patients.
“Health care is complex, and that is why we work in teams, because together we can enable patients to achieve shared goals,” Dr Rois said.
“We thrive on getting patients back to their best functional level possible after an acute event, so they can return home and get back to their roles in society.”
Dr Rois said the rehab team forged strong connections with patients as well as their support networks and cared deeply about their quality of life.
“I have patients who I have seen for 10 years as their care doesn’t end once they leave hospital.’’
West Moreton Health’s Chief Operating Officer Matthew Tallis said rehabilitation services at West Moreton Health had evolved to offer connected care for rehab patients across two sites – Ipswich and Boonah hospitals – and supported by the Community Based Rehabilitation Team.
“We have the advantage of being able to offer rehabilitation care in three unique environments: Ward 6B Stroke and Rehabilitation Services at Ipswich Hospital for sub-acute care; Boonah Hospital, which offers a really desirable rehab environment where people can access quality rehab services in a more ‘home-like’ and less clinical setting; or ongoing support from the Community Based Rehabilitation Team once people are ready to return home to continue their health journey,” Mr Tallis said.
“While a person’s rehabilitation journey often starts at Ipswich Hospital, their care may continue at other sites as they progress through their health journey. Our teams work closely with each other and their patients to deliver person-centred care that best meets the needs of people wherever they are in their health journey.’’
Professor Miller said the exhibition aimed to celebrate the health journeys of rehabilitating patients as well as the teams committed to their care across the Ipswich and Boonah hospital sites.
“We also wanted to give people a greater understanding of what rehab looks like and hopefully promote some conversation in the community.’’