New service supports indigenous patients at RBWH

Aunty Janey patientA new service is providing comfort and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH).

The dedicated after-hours service was launched by Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) in October 2014, and is being accessed by hundreds of patients each month. There are future plans to expand to The Prince Charles Hospital.

After Hours Team Leader at RBWH, Aunty Janet Layton, said the team extends the support provided by the Weekday Indigenous Hospital Liaison Service and the Regional and Remote Indigenous Patient Journey Care Coordinators at the RBWH.

The team works closely with the RBWH Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit for high-risk patients.

“We visit the Emergency Department morning and afternoon to check on patients who may need our support or to assist clinical staff to help patients,” Aunty Janet said. “Helping relatives is very important and means that medical staff can focus on the patient.”

Support is also given to patients following their discharge from hospital, providing them with access to community support services.

“It’s making our people feel as comfortable as possible, keeping them connected with their community and ensuring they don’t feel they have to go home until they are fully recovered.”

Director of the Metro North Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Unit, Angela Scotney, said the new services form part of the existing Indigenous Hospital Liaison Service at RBWH, The Prince Charles Hospital, Caboolture and Redcliffe hospitals.

“Each month the Indigenous hospital liaison officers see an average of 500 patients for a variety of health conditions including acute and chronic illnesses,” Ms Scotney said.

“The After Hours team at the RBWH is particularly important as many patients come from outside of Brisbane and they don’t have family support here.”

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities and patients can access the service by contacting the RBWH IHLO After Hours Service, Monday and Friday 12pm to 8.30pm, and on weekends 10am to 6.30pm. After Hours Service hours, (07) 3647 4183. Weekday Service, (07) 36464154. Email:

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