08.04.2019 15:47 Age: 192 days

First class rehab service is helping South West patients get back on their feet faster

Busselton resident Heather Burking enjoying her garden after recovering from a stroke

Patients recovering from a stroke or orthopaedic surgery can now access more specialised rehabilitation treatment closer to home thanks to a new program. 

The program involves a cohesive service across the region, with a specialist stroke rehabilitation service at Bunbury Hospital and a specialist orthopaedic rehabilitation service at Busselton Health Campus (BHC).

The WA Country Health Service’s Jo Moore said the new model of care for rehab includes better access to technological support and less need to transfer patients to Perth.

Ms Moore said while some patients may need to travel to Busselton or Bunbury depending on which treatment they need to access, this was a more convenient and cheaper option for most patients compared to travelling to Perth.

“The new rehab program offers a range of benefits to patients such as greater expertise within the rehab teams which are led by a consultant geriatrician and include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and dieticians who can all provide treatment and advice.

“Regardless of where a patient lives, the rehab staff will work with them and their family to ensure any concerns are addressed and they receive the care they need,” she said.  

Busselton resident Heather Burking was one of the first patients to benefit from the program after experiencing a massive stroke twelve months ago.

Her husband Charles said the quick response from Emergency Department staff at Busselton Health Campus and airlift to Perth for surgery saved her life.

Mrs Burking was later transferred to Bunbury Hospital for intensive rehab treatment to help her regain her strength and confidence.

‘I was relieved to have a team of highly trained staff who knew the best way to help me recover after my stroke,’ she said. 

Mrs Burking continued to receive support from the outpatient stroke rehab team when she was discharged to ensure her return to home was as smooth as possible.

“I cannot speak highly enough about the wonderful staff and support I had at Bunbury Hospital,” she added.

Mr Burking  said the rehab team was first class and he found the travelling from home (Busselton) to Bunbury was a piece of cake compared to travelling to Perth for the initial weeks of Heather’s treatment.

Ms Moore said the new rehab program was developed in response to growing demand in the region.

“We are delighted we can offer such an excellent rehab service for South West patients so close to home,” Ms Moore said.

For further information about health initiatives in the Southwest visit the My Healthy Southwest Facebook page.