The Flinders Closing the Gap ProgramTM
for Health Professionals working with Aboriginal patients.
The Flinders Closing the Gap ProgramTM of Chronic Condition Management is funded through the Commonwealth "Closing the Gap: Helping Indigenous Australians Self-Manage their Chronic Disease" Program as a measure within the Council of Australian Governments' National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes.
This Program is available to Aboriginal Health Workers, General Practitioners, Registered Nurses and allied health professionals who deliver health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. The Flinders Closing the Gap ProgramTM provides between 2–3 days of training that includes learning the principles of chronic disease support and practicing the Flinders tools of chronic condition management, in particular skills in care planning. The aim of the program is to enable Indigenous Australian patients' greater self-management of their chronic health conditions. There is also an online version of the course. Click the button in the righthand column for more information on the online course.
This funded training is facilitated by the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit (FHBHRU) and is available to health professionals in urban and regional locations across Australia.
Professional development units for General Practitioners registered with RACGP (ACRRM are available), and Registered Nurses (RCNA CNE points are also available.) Health practitioners who complete The Flinders Closing the Gap ProgramTM will receive a certificate of competency. The Certificate of Competency is a certification of the completion of The Flinders Closing the Gap ProgramTM and includes three VET competencies in Chronic Disease Self-Management that can be credited to the Health Care Certificate IV.
- CHCICS406A - Support Client Self-Management;
- CHCICS407A - Support Positive Lifestyle; and
- CHCICS408A - Provide Support to People with Chronic Disease.
Follow up after the workshop includes mentoring (face to face, telephone and email) to support practitioners to apply the Flinders tools to patient care planning and to integrate this into the health service practice. Follow up training has included smaller group sessions; one to one support with individual "shadowing" sessions of patient contact; general certificate of competency follow up for care plans; and telephone mentoring. This follow up is provided at the participant's workplaces or at the Flinders centre.
Goals of training in the Program:
- support healthcare providers to offer a greater range of patient-centred solutions to meet the health needs of the Indigenous population;
- assist health services to better manage specific Indigenous health needs, and barriers to self-management at the local level;
- increase collaboration between Indigenous people and communities, with local general practices, hospitals and allied health providers;
- assist Indigenous Australians to develop realistic health goals to help manage their health conditions and address their psychosocial issues;
- assist Indigenous Australians to identify and understand their health problems and improve their quality of life;
- raise awareness of chronic diseases and conditions generally within Indigenous communities;
- increase collaboration between Indigenous health services, local general practices, hospitals and allied health providers; and
- help close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.