QUT nurse practitioner, Kerry Porter

By Yasmin Noone

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has just launched a new bulk-billed nurse practitioner service for seniors living with chronic diseases who are in need of treatment and support.

The service, officially launched yesterday, will be based at the QUT Kelvin Grove clinic, see patients on-site, and provide outreach services to older people living in aged care facilities, indigenous communities and retirement villages.

Available to Indigenous people aged 55 and over, and non-Indigenous seniors aged 65-plus, the nurse practitioner service will operate five days a week to help patients manage their chronic illnesses.

QUT health clinics manager, Allison Vautin, said the new service will aim to keep patients out of hospital as much as possible.

“Patients can expect a comprehensive health assessment as well as education and other clinical support,” Ms Vautin said.

The nurse practitioner at the heart of the service, Kerry Porter, is experienced in the areas of diabetes and other chronic disease management and has worked throughout both Queensland and New South Wales.

“Kerry will work with patients’ doctors and other health professionals so patients can better self-manage their chronic conditions to make their health the best it can be,” said Ms Vautin.

Living with chronic health problems like diabetes or chronic lung disease can have a big impact on a person’s life but, according to Ms Porter, there are ways to manage and minimize the impact of chronic diseases.

“For example, asthma patients [who access the service] can receive help understanding their asthma action plan, which will advise them of what to do when their asthma is well controlled as well as when they’re experiencing an attack,” said Ms Porter.

“They’ll receive advice and support on how best to use their medication and undergo lung function tests to assess the effectiveness of the management program.

“Patients can also receive help to live healthier lives with referrals to podiatrists, dietitians or exercise physiologists available.”

The service will also offer patients advice as to how they can become more mobile and prevent falling.

For more information contact the QUT Health Clinic on (07) 3138 9777 or visit www.healthclinics.qut.edu.au

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