Northcott, an Australia-based organization that provides programs and services for children and adults with disabilities, has developed a new Teletherapy program to accommodate residents living in Western New South Wales (NSW). The program is intended to lessen the time it may take patients to access services such as occupational and speech therapy. Teletherapy uses video conferencing technology to link patients to specialist support services that previously had required hours of travel time to access.
“There is a growing demand for therapy services, but at the same time, there is also a shortage of therapists in Western NSW,” Christine Leedy, Northcott Western NSW are manager explains.
The Teletherapy program also translates into an eased ability for patients with disabilities in remote areas to attend appointments and access a wider range of services from home. Leddy adds that the technology is key for Northcott, as it offers the ability to reach more clients and reduce isolation experienced by individuals with disabilities living in remote areas, while also better equipping the organization to meet their needs.
“The program means therapists can now train Northcott’s Dubbo staff from wherever they are, instead of traveling, and that frees up more money to spend on frontline services,” Leddy says.
Leddy adds that the rollout of a National Broadband Network and improvements in technology will mean that initiatives like Teletherapy will continue to transform the way in which disability services are delivered in the future.