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Allied Health Services

Allied Health professionals aim to prevent, diagnose and treat a range of conditions and illnesses. Often, they work within a multidisciplinary health team to create the best patient outcomes. Allied Health is made up of the following professionals.

Dietitians are essential members of the healthcare team. They use the science of dietetics to provide comprehensive nutrition care and education, help prevent malnutrition, improve nutritional status, and manage chronic disease.

Dietitians are qualified to give individualised advice on the nutritional status of a patient, and on food and nutrient manipulation to meet the patients' requirements.

The dietetic service at Northern Beaches Hospital can assist inpatients with the following:

  • Nutrition assessment and calculation of nutrient needs.
  • Specialised nutrition therapies (ie therapeutic diet modification, oral nutrition support, enteral or parenteral nutrition support).
  • Medical nutrition therapy for disease management (ie cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, food allergy, food intolerance, post-gastrointestinal surgery).
  • Nutrition counselling and education in preparation for discharge.
  • Nutrition-related discharge planning

We have a skilled team of registered Occupational Therapists (OTs) who work across all wards of the hospital.

OTs aim to help patients stay safe, improve independence, and remain at home. They do this using a holistic approach to assess function, self-care, cognition, psychosocial needs, and the home environment.

Our OTs work with patients to identify their goals – within the hospital, these usually focus on improving safety and participation in day-to-day tasks, and preventing physical and cognitive complications.

The team can also:

  • supply a broad range of education
  • identify individual therapy
  • prescribe adaptive equipment
  • coordinate with patients, patients/carers and the hospital team for a timely and safe discharge
  • link patients to community occupational therapy.

Physiotherapists use evidence-based practice to assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of patient conditions – in many cases, there are underlying musculoskeletal, neurological, or cardiorespiratory disorders.

Physiotherapists can impact the length of a patient’s stay by promoting post-operative mobility and reducing complications associated with immobility. They can also maximise physical and/or cardiorespiratory function in disease and reduce falls-related readmissions.

The Northern Beaches Hospital Physiotherapy Team provides the following interventions:

  • movement assessment
  • gait assessment
  • specific exercise prescription
  • management of acute musculoskeletal injury
  • respiratory management
  • restorative therapy for neurological deficits
  • post-operative therapy
  • neurodevelopmental therapy
  • casting and splinting
  • falls management.

Additionally, specialised Physiotherapists offer advanced services in a number of Hospital areas, such as the Emergency Department and Special Care Nursery

The Social Work service is an integral part of patient care services at the Northern Beaches Hospital.

Social Workers are available to assist patients and families/carers with psychosocial assessments, counselling and clinical interventions, emotional and practical support, and information on community services.

Social Work services include:

  • counselling and emotional support (ie for grief, trauma, violence, child protection, assault, anxiety and more)
  • advocacy
  • information and referrals to community services
  • support during pregnancy and after birth
  • assistance with accommodation issues
  • information about legal and financial support options
  • exploring carer issues and carer stress
  • assessment and early intervention for families.

There is a social worker in each clinical area of the Hospital. Referrals are made via the treating health worker (Nurse, Doctor or Allied Health professional)

Our team of dedicated Speech Pathologists specialise in the assessment and management of swallowing and communication disorders in both adult and paediatric patients.

The team treats a wide variety of patients, including those with neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, dementia, critical illness, respiratory disease, developmental disabilities, laryngectomy and premature babies. Speech Pathologists also work closely with a patient’s family or carer and the multidisciplinary team to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Speech Pathologists can help with communication disorders, and aim to:

  • improve and support communication (including establishing alternate and augmentative systems like alphabet/picture boards, iPads, speaking valves)
  • increase participation in daily activities
  • facilitate safe discharge planning
  • support decision-making
  • improve independence and quality of life.
  • Speech Pathologists can assess and manage swallowing disorders (dysphagia), and help to:
  • minimise the occurrence of aspiration/choking, malnutrition and dehydration
  • improve quality of life.

The team can also treat patients with tracheostomy (a type of breathing tube), by assisting them:

  • to manage swallowing and communication difficulties
  • in weaning and decannulation pathways
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