Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer

Our Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (AHLO) support Aboriginal patients, families, community members and our staff.

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Paul Patten AHLO

Let Us Introduce You to Our AHLO - Paul Patten is our Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer. 

What an AHLO does:

We can support patients from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background by:

  • Improving healthcare services and maintain positive relationships within the Aboriginal community, other service providers and government departments.
  • Being a link between the medical teams and the patient / families, during the admission.
  • Assisting upon discharge to ensure the patient / family are well supported and understands their future medical care.
  • Providing education to the wider Bass Coast Health Staff to increase understanding and respect of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; to ensure a culturally appropriate experience whilst in hospital.

We can provide the following services:

  • Face-to-face contact with patients
  • Social and emotional support
  • Engagement and advocacy for patients and their family
  • Assisting with discharge planning and accessing resources
  • Assist with enquiries for patients and families
  • Follow-up care with patients

Aboriginal employment

Bass Coast Health recognises the importance of creating a culturally diverse and supportive workplace for Aboriginal people.

We aim to increase Aboriginal employment and education at Bass Coast Health and encourage Aboriginal job seekers to apply for opportunities advertised.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy

As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan we are developing an Aboriginal employment strategy which focuses on:

  • increasing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people
  • valuing and supporting Aboriginal staff
  • professional development, such as mentoring and education.

Bass Coast Health's Aboriginal Employment Strategy will be available here once complete.

Aboriginal patients

We strive to ensure all patients who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander are provided with culturally safe, respectful and appropriate patient care to meet their individual health care needs.

Aboriginal Health Program

Our Aboriginal Health Program provides a range of services including:

  • Ensuring culturally responsive care for all Aboriginal people and their families
  • Improving access and availability of health services and preventative care for Aboriginal people
  • Improving our ability to meet the particular needs of Aboriginal patients and their families
  • Increasing our understanding of, and cultural sensitivity towards Aboriginal health issues
  • Strengthening our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Service by establishing and maintaining positive relationships with the local Aboriginal community, other service providers, and government departments.

For Patients and Visitors

What is the  service?

Bass Coast Health has a committed Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer which aims to culturally support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and carers through the hospital journey including:

  • Ensuring Aboriginal people have access to all Bass Coast Health services
  • Explaining and helping the patients navigate the hospital setting
  • Providing the patient with support whilst a client of Bass Coast Health where appropriate
  • Providing the patient with information on services in the community and how they can access them on discharge
  • Ensuring that Bass Coast Health is culturally sensitive, safe and welcoming to Aboriginal people
  • Identifying and addressing barriers that may be preventing Aboriginal people from using Bass Coast Health Services
  • Sharing of promotional material to community and within Bass Coast Health
  • The development of relationships with the Aboriginal community.

What can I expect from the service?

Patients can expect to see the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer if they request a visit, during their hospital admission. Patients can have the AHLO present when treating teams are speaking with them about their medical condition. The AHLO can advocate, liaise and provide support throughout their admission, including contacting family and carers at the patient's request. The AHLO can also assist with internal and external referrals for services the patient may require.

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

The patient does not require any items for appointments with the AHLO. Patients can request verbally a time to see the AHLO.

For Health Professionals

Service overview

Bass Coast Health has a committed Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer which aims to culturally support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and carers through the hospital journey including;

  • Assisting in identifying Aboriginal patients
  • Explaining and helping the patients navigate the hospital setting
  • Providing information about Close the Gap – Prescriptions to patients and staff
  • Contacting family members and carers where required
  • Providing a support to Bass Coast Health staff working with Aboriginal clients, through individual consultations
  • Basic material aid: toiletries, emergency clothing, myki ticket for public transport
  • Some follow-up for outpatient appointments
  • The development of relationships with the Aboriginal community
  • Ensuring Bass Coast Health is culturally sensitive, safe and welcoming to Aboriginal people
  • Contacting other support workers supporting the patient
  • Working with Aboriginal agencies for referrals and support services
  • Providing advice about Aboriginal services a patient could be referred to
  • Ensuring Aboriginal people have access to all Bass Coast Health services
  • Providing the patient with support whilst a client of Bass Coast Health where appropriate
  • Providing the patient with information on services in the community and how they can access them on discharge
  • Cultural safety training to staff where appropriate
  • Identifying and addressing barriers that may be preventing Aboriginal people from using Bass Coast Health Services
  • Dissemination of promotional material to community and within Bass Coast Health
  • Attending and participating in relevant committees, forums, seminars, training and meetings
  • Providing cultural safety training for hospital staff,
  • The implementation of policies to improve services for Aboriginal patients
  • No taxi vouchers can be provided.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people
  • Spouses or carers of Aboriginal families
  • Inpatients
  • Outpatients