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Developing a Best Practice Community Nursing Model

for Neurological Care for Metropolitan Perth

Investigators: Professor Anne Williams, Dr Brenda Bentley, & Professor Leanne Monterosso

Project Coordinator: Dr Judith Pugh

Health Research Officer: Ms Cathy Pienaar

Industry Liaison: Kathy McCoy, Executive Director, Neurological Council of Western Australia

Funding: Neurological Council of Western Australia ($270,000).

Timeline: 2016-2017

Project Summary

Nervous system and sense organ disorders are the third major cause of disease burden in Western Australia and account for approximately 10% of total health system expenditure in Australia. Helping people to stay living in their homes and engaged in the local community is a crucial element of the Department of Health’s Home and Community Care programs.


The purpose of this translational research project is to develop a best practice community-nursing model of care for neurological patients in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. The research questions are:

  • What is known about the options and approaches to the provision of community-neurological nursing care for people living with a neurological condition?
  • What best practices have been identified in the literature for providing community neurological nursing care?
  • How do community-neurological nurses affiliated with the Neurological Council of WA collaborate with functional systems, organisations, and / or health care professionals (including acute health care services) to deliver the Neurocare program in Midland?
  • How do patients with neurological conditions and their informal carers experience neurological services post-discharge from an acute care hospital?


This is a descriptive, mixed methods study comprising three sub-studies. Data collection will involve rapid literature review, semi-structured interviews, standardised questionnaires, documentary analysis, and a World Café (a form of focus group).


The aim and vision of this project is to add to the body of knowledge in this area and to provide decision makers, policy and procurement with information on how best to serve a unique state such as Western Australia.


140 Murdoch Partnership.jpgCollaborative Partnership Launch

On Tuesday 17th January 2017 a special event was held at Murdoch University to celebrate the new partnership between the Neurological Council of WA and the School of Health Professions, Murdoch University. Professor Paul Morrison, the Dean of the School of Health Professions welcomed everyone to the event and said that this partnership signifies an important step forward in the care of persons with a neurological condition. This new relationship acknowledges the value for industry and academic organisations to work together. By recognising and utilising each other’s skills and expertise, the care of people with neurological conditions can be optimised through the generation and translation of research evidence into everyday practice.

114 Murdoch Partnership.jpgMs Kath McCoy, the Executive Director of the Neurological Council of WA and Professor Charles Watson AM, Chair of the Board for the Neurological Council, talked about the origins of the study and the importance of the partnership. Professor Anne Williams and Dr Brenda Bentley from Murdoch University provided an overview of the current project and described some of the preliminary findings from the World Café.

Three consumers, Mr Ken Budd, Ms Kay Thompson, and Mr Matt Verrier told their personal stories about living with a neurological condition. Ms Marilia Pereira, Ms Nikki Mitchell, Ms Helen Wright, Ms Lynne Lomax, and Ms Kym Heine; who are all nurses from the Neurological Council of WA, provided insight into their work with persons with a neurological condition. The new generic community neurological nursing model which is the focus of the current study was outlined:

School of HP.jpgA generic neurological nurse “is a nurse with specialist skill and competency in the broad area of neurological health management and support. The focus of their therapeutic approach is on the individualised and holistic wellbeing of the client, regardless of neurological diagnosis or symptom impact” (McCoy, 2016).

Professors’ Charles Watson and Williams concluded the event by looking to the future. Appreciation of the opportunity to make a real difference to neurological care through this new partnership was expressed.