Victoria University, Student Led Interprofessional Health Clinic, Werribee
- Designed by Woods Bagot
- Photography by Peter Bennetts
In an Australian first, Woods Bagot is collaborating with Victoria University to design the country’s first student-led Interprofessional Health Clinic in Victoria. This type of Health Clinic is unique to Melbourne and Australia, representing a concept of health service that is leading edge. The core principle of the Interprofessional Health Clinic is that the ‘client’ is the centre of focus. The client is assessed and treated by an interprofessional team of health experts who collaboratively determine the appropriate course of treatment. This is particularly beneficial when clients present with multiple health issues.
This purpose built health clinic at the Victoria University Weribbee Campus will provide a unique experience for clients, representing a concept of health service that is leading edge. The Victoria University Student-Led Interprofessional Health Clinic will provide a new health service in Werribee to support and add value to the current health services available in the western suburbs of Melbourne while also serving as an educational innovator.
The core principle of the Interprofessional Health Clinic is that the ‘client’ is the central focus. Rather than consult with health experts individually relating to each health issue, the client meets with the lead member of an interprofessional team who then collaborates with the team to determine a tailored plan of treatments or consults in a range of areas to meet the holistic needs of the client.
The clinic includes ‘Interprofessional (IP) pods’ where the team, on one side of the pod, can watch and review the lead member, with the client on the other side of the pod via telepresence. The client will not be overwhelmed during assessment with a full team of professionals, yet the pod design will ensure the value of multiple team members providing specialist advice, helping to shape the overall treatment plan
The teams in the clinic will be made up of senior students across a range of health disciplines from Victoria University working together with The University of Melbourne, University of Notre Dame and Kangan Institute of TAFE, under the supervision of expert and registered health practitioners.
Interprofessional education is not about having one type of discipline or one type of practitioner. It’s about building on the strengths of each discipline and ensuring the client or patient has access to that. The range of health disciplines represented in the clinic include: nursing, midwifery, paramedics, psychology, dietetics, dermal therapy, sports and active living, osteopathy, nutritional therapy, social work and medicine.
To achieve the complexity required, the clinic will include a range of spaces in addition to the IP pods, including a teaching kitchen for healthy food preparation and an active living laboratory where clients will be assisted in rehabilitation to maximise quality of movement.
From the colourful tonal landscape of the Werribee farms to the stunning native landscape of Werribee Gorge, the design response for the building was never short of rich contextual references. It is these references that conditioned the form of the building and its immediate landscape, creating a visual amenity and release for the users.
State of the art telepresence technology will be utilised throughout the facility to enable the interprofessional communication process. The design will aim to not only reflect the unique health service offering, but to provide a sense of community beyond the traditional health facility.