Joint effort to treat sick

REDUCING pain and avoiding surgery for people suffering from osteoarthritis, are some of the benefits of a joint approach by clinicians at Auburn Hospital.

One-stop-shop clinic improving patient health and need for surgery

The hospital’s new Osteoarthritis Chronic Care Program (OACCP) is a ‘one-stop-shop’ aiming to improve care for patients by allowing them to see a range of different clinicians in a single appointment, avoiding multiple hospital visits.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition caused by the wearing down of the cartilage at the ends of bones, affecting one in 11 Australians.
Carolyn Aiken, 53, has been suffering from osteoarthritis for 15 years and found the clinic helpful.
“It’s definitely a step ahead in medical practice, especially in the public system, to see the teams working together and coming up with more holistic treatments instead of just medication or surgery,” she said.
“It was more convenient for me having them all there, not needing to run around making different appointments with all the specialists.”
Rheumatology advanced trainee Dr Beverly Ng says the clinic is a “one-stop shop” for people to receive intervention from a medical, physiotherapy and dietetic perspective.
“The objective is to optimise osteoarthritis care through less invasive measures, such a lifestyle changes, while patients are waiting for surgery. There’s the potential to get patients off the surgery list with symptom management and improvement in quality of life,” Dr Ng said.
Under the new program, patients initially attend a clinic at Auburn Hospital, and are subsequently followed up at 3, 6 and 12-month time points to monitor their progress.