The VPRS is comprised of a statewide management team, two inpatient services at the Royal Childrens Hospital and Monash Health and eight ambulatory services at Ballarat Health Services, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health Care Group, Eastern Health, Goulburn Valley Health, Latrobe Health Service, Monash Health and the Royal Children’s Hospital. Services will differ at all of our sites so please contact the local Regional Coordinator for details about where the services which are offered and where the closest service is.
Specific services include:
- Acquired brain injury services
- Physical rehabilitation services including tone management clinics
- Combined orthopaedic and rehabilitation clinics
- Combined rehabilitation and plastics clinics
- Spinal cord injury and disease services
- Chronic fatigue service
This service is offered to other Departments and wards across both RCH and MH to provide advice and assistance in determining which children and young people may benefit from a rehabilitation program. Some may require only brief assessment without follow-up, while others will have a rehabilitation plan devised according to their functional needs. The rehabilitation team and other clinicians then determine with the family/carers what is the most suitable way of providing rehabilitation, either as an inpatient, day patient, or through community-based services, and what VPRS services is the most appropriate to provide that service.
Some children and young people need further time in hospital after acute care to focus on developing functional skills such as sitting and/or walking, communicating and self care, before they can return home. VPRS has two sites that provide inpatient services; The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital.
On admission to VPRS-RCH the main rehabilitation inpatient area is the Kelpie ward on Level 1 North, however patients can be located on other wards and still be under the rehabilitation team. On Admission to VPRS-MH patients will be located on level 4 in either 41 or 42 North.
Once the child and their family have been admitted they will meet with the rehabilitation team to devise an appropriate program which usually includes a structured weekly timetable of therapy sessions to meet functional goals for their child. Family-team meetings are held regularly to ensure that there is a clear communication process and to help the family gradually prepare for home.
The team consists of
- Ward-based nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Speech pathologists
- Educational advisors
- Social workers
- Play and music therapists
- Nurse co-ordinators
Ongoing communication is maintained with the referring medical or surgical team. Early in the inpatient admission, assessment and planning takes place for other services which the family may require after going home, such as attendant care, home- or local-based therapy, and a return-to-school plan. Most patients will be followed up in the rehabilitation service that is closest to their home, to review their progress and plan further services and programs as required. Often a paediatrician will also follow-up with the patient and family.
Day rehabilitation programs are developed for children and young people who do not require overnight hospital care and who can safely be cared for at home, but require a high intensity of rehabilitation services, to ensure they meet their rehab goals.
Children and young people may benefit from day rehabilitation services delivered in a variety of settings including:
- Local community
- Community health centre
The rehabilitation program involves a timetable of therapy appointments on specified day(s) of each week. Where possible, day rehabilitation services are co-located and children and families work with several rehabilitation professionals on each day. The location of services and the intensity of the program depend upon the rehabilitation goals, anticipated rate of change and availability of services.
Day rehabilitation may involve shared-care between services in the local community and the Paediatric Rehabilitation Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Regular meetings are held with the rehabilitation team, families, schools and community agencies to communicate rehabilitation needs and progress. Goals are regularly reviewed and the rehabilitation plan updated accordingly.
Ambulatory rehab programs are also developed for children and young people who do not require overnight hospital care and who are being cared for at home, but require rehabilitation services to ensure they meet their rehabilitation goals. These services may be in the form of an interdisciplinary clinic or interdisciplinary rehab,