If you are an avid reader of our website blog, or are subscribed to our Evolution newsletter, you would remember that back in August we shone a light on a community partnership that Best Practice Software is engaged in with the Yotkom Medical Centre in Uganda.
Today we’re doing something similar – looking at one of the Best Practice Software community partners who is doing incredible work in and around their community, and this one is a little closer to home.
For the past eleven years, Best Practice Software has been involved in an ongoing community partnership with the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic and hostel, located in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. The Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic is a Practice that exists to support homeless men in and around the Woolloomooloo locality. For many years, the area has been a hotspot for homeless activity, with around 100 men living in the available crisis accommodation. The clinic’s patients sleep rough or reside locally in unstable, unreliable accommodation.
The clinic is a non-government organisation run by the St Vincent de Paul Society. Their staff consists of their nursing team, a general practitioner, two psychiatrists, an optometrist, and a roster of visiting clinicians and allied health professionals. Nurse Manager, Julie Smith, stresses the importance of the work that the clinic performs.
“The homeless are not served well by mainstream healthcare services. Typically, they die 25 years before an average Australian. They experience higher rates of mental illness, metabolic disease, chronic illness, and cancer. Accessing healthcare is difficult. We provide advocacy and break down those barriers to receiving a service wherever we can.”
The clinic offers several essential and preventive health services including specialist clinics in smoking cessation, metabolic health, Hepatitis C, and chronic disease management. A point of pride for the clinic is their work in assisting patients with their NDIS funding applications, of which they have been involved in nearly 100. Of these 100, not a single application has been knocked back, meaning that once housed, the patients are able to access lifelong help and support, which in-turn sustains their tenancies and is instrumental in preventing their relapse into homelessness. For these people, these successful applications mean that their homelessness is effectively ended.
Julie explains that the core ethos behind the Matthew Talbot Primary Healthy Clinic is to help those who have trouble helping themselves.
“Supporting and advocating on behalf of people who have difficulty assisting themselves is an important way that we can create and sustain safer and healthier communities. In our hostel, we have a substantial Case Management team who provide comprehensive social welfare services. We partner with them every day and we are instrumental in providing the treating doctors with reports and supportive letters that are crucial elements in obtaining the right benefits or access to housing services.”
To further assist those who are impacted by homelessness, in addition to the medical support and advocacy for housing, the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic also has an onsite learning centre. The centre welcomes those struggling with homelessness, and the wider community.
“It’s a place where you can learn, gain qualifications, meet people, make new friends and obtain assistance.”
The centre’s COMPEER program, which is an initiative backed by Vinnies, is a program that matches community members with people who have a mental illness, but who would benefit from having regular friendships within the community. The centre also provides supportive services for refugees and homeless families, and they run programs which keep homeless children connected to education, which is something that many displaced children struggle with.
While the clinic does offer medical support services, the entire initiative is so much more, aiding with a holistic approach to health, both for individuals and the wider community. Health is very much connected to all aspects of homelessness and being able to assist those in need by considering all aspects of where they may be struggling is crucial to long-term success.
As part of the community partnership agreement, Best Practice Software proudly provides the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic with significantly discounted Bp Premier licences, which benefits the clinic’s staff, but more importantly, allows the clinic to provide, in many cases, lifesaving care and assistance to its patients and the wider community.
Here at Best Practice Software, we are proud to be an integral part of the work that all our customers are undertaking. Though it is especially important that we take steps to assist those who are helping the most vulnerable in our communities, Best Practice Software is particularly proud to have maintained such an important and valuable community partnership with the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic and look forward to continued partnership.
To find out more about the Matthew Talbot Primary Health Clinic, visit their section of the St Vincent de Paul website.
If you are involved with a charitable or non-profit cause, you believe may qualify for Best Practice Software’s Community Partnership program, and can get in touch with us here.