Geriatrician in the Practice

What?

GIPThe Geriatrician in the Practice (GIP) program is an innovative model of care where the specialist care team and general practice team support joint consultations closer to home. 

With a focus on dementia assessment and management, it aims to improve care coordination and linkages between specialists at Shoalhaven hospital and local general practices.

Through the GIP program, the individual and their carer are able to see their GP and the geriatrician at the same time, in a familiar place. A specialist nurse also attends the appointments - this integrated service promotes a shared care approach.

Why?

Dementia is a serious chronic condition that requires expert clinical assessment, diagnosis and management. The prevalence of dementia is approximately 1% at the age of 60 years and between 30% and 50% at the age of 85 years.

The Shoalhaven region has the largest elderly population within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (LHD), with 26% of the population aged over 65 years. It is estimated that in 2021 it will reach 40%. With an ageing population and a high prevalence of dementia, there have been insufficient geriatricians available to provide a timely service to patients. This has resulted in long waiting lists for local hospital clinics.

How?

The GIP model is a strategy for improving patient care. It aims to:

  • provide patient-centred dementia assessment and management using a collaborative approach with primary care providers
  • improve patient / carer engagement and experience
  • improve the skillset of primary care providers, develop a sustainable and scalable model of care
  • increase access to timely specialist assessment in a familiar environment
  • improve linkages and referral mechanisms.

To read more, download the Geriatrician in the Practice program document here.

Funded through the NSW Ministry of Health Integrated Care Planning and Innovation Fund, the GIP program is conducted collaboratively with the Aged Care Services (ISLHD), COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN and general practices in the Shoalhaven area.