Month: June 2016

Step Forward – Together

CommunityWest in partnership with COTA Australia has been undertaking a national project, trialling co-production in the aged care sector.

The Step Forward – Together project has ten pilot sites using co-production in their organisations over the last eight months resulting in great success as a method for service improvement and innovation.

The consumers involved in the pilot site projects have also benefited from being involved and have reported increased confidence, improved relationships with staff, increased sense of self-worth and value, a renewed sense of purpose in life, and new skills and knowledge learnt.

Brenda Bryant is an avid writer and poet and has been writing a blog of her time during the Step Forward – Together project. She was delighted to be asked to take a peek behind the scenes and contribute to the renewal taking place in aged care nationwide. Brenda is 85 years old and has accessed home care services provided by Novacare Community Services since having a stroke three years ago.

By being involved in the Step Forward – Together project, Brenda feels even more appreciative of the effort made by Novacare to genuinely engage with the older people in her community. Brenda believes there has never been a better time to be old and has written this poem about her time with the project.

There was an old lady from Oz,

Who enjoyed co-production because,

She could add the odd thought

Though it might come to nought,

And compare the ‘what is’ to ‘what was’.


To appreciate aged care today,

We must bring every mind into play.

If we co-operate,

We can add much more weight,

And feel glad ‘cos we’re having our say.


I encourage you all to take part!

Use your brain for its bright and it’s smart.

Just have your say,

And you may, yes you may

Cause something unusual to start!

In this wonderful new world of caring

There is nothing so vital as sharing…


The ten pilot site projects complete 31 May and CommunityWest will be disseminating the learnings of the project over the coming months, including a documentary and ‘how to’ guide and toolkit on co-producing aged care services.

For more information contact Kelly Gray, CommunityWest Consultant, (08) 9309 8180.

Thieves target Perth hospital patients


“Low life” thieves are targeting vulnerable patients at Royal Perth Hospital, stealing personal belongings, money and even medical equipment.

A freedom of information investigation has uncovered 124 counts of stealing from patients, their family and friends and medical staff at RPH between January 2014 and August 2015.

Incident reports from the hospital’s security logbook revealed dozens of thefts of mobile phones, cash and computers from patients’ rooms.

Some of the stealing occurred from bedside tables when patients were asleep, or out of their rooms having surgery or tests.

“Unfortunately there are some pretty low life people in our society who will take advantage of anyone in a difficult situation,” Health Minister John Day said.

“It’s completely unacceptable and appalling,” he said.

On one occasion an amputee’s wheelchair was stolen.

In another case a man was asleep at a table at the hospital’s café when a thief was caught on CCTV stealing a backpack he’d left on the floor behind him.

“When you are unwell or when a family member is unwell you are just under so much pressure and it’s just so hard to think that people are also having to cope with losing their valuables as well,” said Pip Brennan from the Health Consumers’ Council.

Nurses and doctors were also victims, with several reports of staff lockers broken into and bags, clothes and cash taken.

Security cameras outside the hospital’s emergency department filmed a man stealing a mobile phone left on a stretcher by a paramedic while he worked at the back of an ambulance.

“It’s just got to be the lowest of the low I think,” said Ms Brennan.

The security log also recorded 24 incidents of stealing from the hospital, including at least three cases when thieves took mattresses and blankets.

Vending machines were also regularly targeted, with at least one recorded case of a man caught using a drill, hidden in a backpack, to break open the machine.

RPH’s Acting Executive Director Dr Aresh Anwar said thefts at the hospital occur” as they do in any large public place frequented by thousands of people every day”, and he’s urged patients not to bring valuables to the hospital.

“Whilst we appreciate some individuals are facing tremendous hardship we cannot condone theft of any kind,” Mr Anwar said.

“We take security incidents seriously and have processes in place to ensure incidents are thoroughly investigated and appropriate legal action taken.”

The West Australian