Older Persons Health

The Statewide Older Person’s Health Clinical Network (SOPHCN) aims to guide improvement in patient health outcomes, functional capacity and quality of life by identifying service gaps in acute and subacute care services. This includes rehabilitation, palliative care, subacute mental health and Geriatric Evaluation Management and psycho-geriatric services in both hospitals and the community.

The network was established in recognition of the unique care required for many older persons and to initiate improvements in service delivery.

The multidisciplinary steering committee meets six times a year and is comprised of Queensland Health geriatricians, nurses and allied health clinicians from across the state as well as a consumer representative, a general practitioner and a pharmacist.

The SOPHCN is co-chaired by Dr Lisa Kelly, Staff Specialist, Geriatric Medicine at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Hospital and Health Service and Dr Robert O’Sullivan, Staff Specialist, Geriatrician and General Physician, Department of Internal Medicine and Aged Care at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

The role of the network

  • Provide expertise, direction and strategic advice to the Minister of Health, the Director-General of the Department of Health, Hospital and Health Srvices (HHSs) and clinicians on matters relating to the delivery of older person’s health care and evidence based best practice in Queensland.
  • Develop standards, guidelines and clinical indicators for older person’s clinical services to promote quality improvement and standardisation of best practice across Queensland.
  • Develop and promote multi-disciplinary training opportunities throughout older person’s services
  • Undertake service gap analysis of subacute services.
  • Review and make recommendations on initiatives such as service plans, service improvement initiatives, clinical policy, clinical research and information systems relevant to older person’s services delivered by Queensland Health and its partners.
  • Liaise with external bodies such as Primary Health Networks, research centres, other networks, and tertiary and consumer organisations to identify opportunities for collaboration.
  • Foster education and research.
  • Find innovative ways to support primary care.
  • Collaborate with other relevant clinical networks.

Current priorities

  • Statewide audits of medication use in older people in Queensland Health hospitals.
  • Improving discharge from hospital processes for older people with cognitive impairment.
  • Statewide survey of older person-friendly principles and practices in Queensland Health hospitals.
  • Trial of innovative practice models of geriatric care in the primary care setting.
  • Redesigning care for people who are experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
  • Establishing telegeriatric models of care.
Last updated: 23 February 2018