Children in the Nambucca Valley will be the first in Australia to benefit from an innovative health trial that will use telecare and community fundraising to deliver health services to children in need.
Launched today in Bowraville and running from June to December 2016, the Community Access Trial will empower the local community to identify kids in need of health and developmental support, and connect them with specialist care using an interactive audio-visual platform.
Children’s health charity Royal Far West and the health & care group Bupa will match dollar-for-dollar money raised by the community to fund the telecare services, providing up to $50,000 worth of specialist services to the Nambucca Valley community. The services will focus on areas of speech and language development, occupational therapy and mental health support.
According to the NSW Child Health Survey, 20% of children in NSW are vulnerable on one or more developmental needs and 21% have trouble accessing health services . In the Nambucca Valley, a major health screening program conducted by Royal Far West found that 81% of children required referral to a health service.
Brad Griffith, Principal of Macksville Public School and Chair of the community committee, urged local residents to learn more about the trial and to get involved in the exciting initiative.
“This project will bring great benefit to our kids here in the Nambucca Valley. What’s special about this project is that our community has a really significant role to play in making sure that our kids get the right support to improve their health, wellbeing and education outcomes.
“It will help break down the barriers for those families who are finding it difficult to access health and wellbeing services for their children. By adopting a community approach we can work together to ensure we give those children greater opportunity to meet their educational goals,” Mr Griffith said.
Local Mayor Rhonda Hoban, who is fully supportive of the pilot, said “We would love to see our community get behind this initiative. Nambucca is the first trial site and that’s something we can all be very proud of.”
Zoe Wainer, Clinical Operations Lead at Bupa, said: “This is a great opportunity to see how technology and community leadership could be combined to target specific, local health and care needs.
“We see so much potential in what Royal Far West is doing to help kids improve their long-term health, and are delighted to be able to lend our support.”
Richard Colbran, Royal Far West Business Director said: “We are very proud of this model, where partners from many sectors come together to support the health and wellbeing of country kids.”
The trial is a pilot project model, which if successful, may be rolled out to other regional and rural communities across Australia.
Following the official project launch in Bowraville, Nambucca Valley residents held a community launch celebration and fundraising event in Macksville.
To find out more and to donate to the Nambucca Community Access Trial, visit: