Report on Extended Scope of Physiotherapy Practice initiative in the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital: Workload and Efficiency. Prepared for ACT Health
Extension of Scope of practice in allied health is an emerging workforce initiative in Australia, where new roles of practice are defined by the Australian Physiotherapy Association as: ‘outside the currently recognised scope of practice and requires legislative change. Extended scope of practice requires some method of credentialing following additional training, competency development and significant clinical experience. Examples include prescribing, injecting and surgery. This role describes the breadth of practice’. Extension of scope of practice in physiotherapy has been piloted at Canberra Hospital, ACT Health Directorate since 2010, as a way of:
- Establishing a formal skills escalator process for allied health
- Developing a highly skilled and credentialed extended-scope workforce in allied health which can provide mentoring and quality practice models for other allied health practitioners working within competency
- Providing practical formally-recognised examples of workforce redesign, and
- Relieving doctors of the management of more routine cases, in circumstances where there is a long waiting list of patients, so that patient care is not compromised (and is in fact enhanced) and doctors can focus on more complex cases.
This report described on a physiotherapy pilot program within the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital.