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Telehealth virtual home visits on the way

Telehealth virtual home visits are about to become reality.

This innovative service – which will be provided by registered charity Karitane – will allow child and family health nurses to provide consultations via a live web link to families across NSW without the need to leave their homes.

These consultations are designed to support the struggles and concerns faced by many new parents, including the common challenges of sleep and settling, feeding, establishing routines, toddler behaviour and perinatal depression and anxiety.

In NSW, eight out of 10 mums with children five years and under described a need for early infant and child support to assist with these challenges, but less than 30 per cent seek assistance.

The Karitane virtual home visits will allow health professionals to consult with families in a timely, accessible and efficient model of care.

And Telehealth virtual home visits will mean Karitane will be able to provide faster support to families on the waiting list.

This may reduce the need for admission into a residential unit and will allow for continuing care with post stay follow ups.

It also provides greater reach and accessibility of services to families in rural and regional NSW.

Karitane will be able to introduce Telehealth thanks to $300,000 in funding from the NSW Government.

Ms Amanda Larkin, chief executive of South Western Sydney Local Health District, said the District would match the NSW Government’s funding to support Karitane to provide the valuable new service to families in need of immediate help.

“To be able to access high quality, expert care in the comfort of their own home will be a relief for parents who cannot easily get a place in residential services,’’ Ms Larkin said.

Grainne O’Loughlin, the CEO of Karitane, said:

“We are excited to offer another point of care to families across NSW to access parenting support that may not otherwise be available to them in their local community.

“We know the evidence is very clear for the benefits of early intervention and prevention in the early years of a child’s life.

“Karitane is delighted to offer the Telehealth virtual home visiting service to all families across NSW.’’

Karitane will work with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation to roll out Telehealth in the next few weeks.

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