Thursday, Dec 21, 2017

In 2016, The Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE) visited Nunyara to study our annual 'Shutdown Week'. The Centre focuses on translating research to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is a collaborative enterprise between The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the School of Public Health and Joanna Briggs Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) located in Whyalla. Nunyara means ‘restored to health’ in Barngarla language [1]. Nunyara provides comprehensive primary health care with a range of holistic services and programs to improve the health outcomes of the Aboriginal peoples living within the Whyalla region of South Australia.

This case study sought to reflect on Nunyara’s Training and Development Program  which are based on providing all staff, both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous with the same information at the same time.  The unique approach sees Nunyara close all service delivery over a period of five days while all staff undertake training and development activities. 

The Nunyara Case Study was conducted using a mixed method approach between September and October 2016. Data that articulated Nunyara’s training and development activities were collected primarily through semi-structured interviews. A content analysis of internal documents (including annual reports) was undertaken and contextually specific descriptive data were collected using a Case Study Tool. Finally, a rapid review of publicly available literature was undertaken to collect service specific information and to build an understanding of the broader context within which Nunyara operates.

Nunyara’s Training and Development Program  is a significant investment in their staff. The annual week long ‘intensive’ delivers much more than skills training and capacity building. Nunyara’s Training and Development Program  is not merely a training week – it builds respectful and equitable relationships between staff and a common meaning and purpose that generates new value for individual staff, teams and the Nunyara community. It offers individual staff members the opportunity to learn, share understandings, link across professional (e.g. clinical and administrative) boundaries, and grow with others across the organisation.

The benefits are wide-ranging for:

  • the delivery of patient care, particularly the increase in the number of health checks completed each year;
  • strengthened staff relations;
  • the creation of a supportive work environment;
  • support and shared knowledge for staff through cultural awareness training;
  • staff retention; and
  • ground-level strategic planning, service planning (e.g. patient flow) and implementation of continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities.