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August 2023

A message from our Directors

We have been busier than ever in the midst of current uncertainty across the healthcare sector. It can be hard to turn focus to person-centred care when budgets are tightened and time is short. The good news is mounting evidence shows that high performing, efficient teams are set apart by their ability to have skilled, complex conversations. These skills allow for more effective and more efficient interactions, and having a clear framework helps reduce the risk of burnout for health professionals. In this edition, read about how our partners are working to keep person-centred care on the agenda, and setting themselves up for a resilient and successful future.

Professor Peter Martin and Meg Chiswell

Masterclass season

Masterclass season has begun! The recent OCPH Healthcare Communication Masterclass held in the picturesque Hunter Valley inspired and united us in our commitment to promoting person-centred care. Over the course of the event, professionals from diverse healthcare backgrounds came together to share interprofessional perspectives on communication experiences, challenges and frameworks. We had three days of intensive experiential learning, accompanied by fantastic social events in the glorious surroundings.

We felt humbled by some simple feedback that participants “felt so safe” in the OCPH learning environment, as we work hard to make sure this is the experience for all our alumni.

Clockwise from left: A view of voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley from across a lake with gumtrees and sky reflected in the water, a group of participants gathered around a bonfire talking to each other, a bonfire, a group of people having drinks in a stylish bar and smiling at the camera, a group of people from the OCPH Masterclass in the Hunter Valley sitting at tables in a u-shape smiling.

The Hunter Valley Masterclass was the first OCPH Masterclass of 2023 to be open to the public. We have been exceptionally lucky to also deliver another Masterclass privately, for the Butterfly Foundation’s Wandi Nerida, a specialist residential eating disorder recovery centre.

The challenges faced by the staff at Wandi Nerida working with individuals and families affected by eating disorders are sobering and complex. We acknowledge the profound efforts of all involved in this space, and encourage everyone to learn more about the findings of Butterfly’s Body Kind Youth Survey.

A heartfelt thank you to all the participants, organisers and funders for making the OCPH Masterclasses we have had so far this year so successful. We look forward to what the rest of the year has in store.

We are also pleased to share OCPH Masterclasses are now an accredited ACEM CPD activity for 16 hours of professional development

Conversations Matter

Conversations Matter Logo

Haven’t heard of Conversations Matter yet? Or are you a leader and have missed out on preliminary discussions at your health service? Get in touch with us!

Conversations Matter is a funded program to strengthen communication, supportive care and patient safety in a local and sustainable way. The program is funded for Victoria’s 7 regional cancer centres.

We are currently visiting the Bendigo, Ballarat, Barwon and Gippsland regions to work on implementation activities. The program is ramping up throughout 2023 following pandemic delays, so be sure not to miss opportunities in your area.

Benefits of the program:

Conversations Matter provides a significant, local professional development opportunity, followed by ongoing, embedded training and free, evidence-based resources. There is also an opportunity for local individuals and teams to become Champions of Change, and receive OCPH training to continue delivering professional development on core skills at your own organisation.

Read more about Conversations Matter and find out how you can get involved with this fantastic program.

Collaboration updates

OCPH is now a member of IMPACT

In exciting news for OCPH, the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT) has welcomed Centre into its fold. IMPACT is renowned for cutting-edge approaches to solving complex mental and physical health challenges, with a strong focus on translating medical research into real-world solutions for the community.

The collaboration between IMPACT and OCPH has been in the works for some time, recognising potential synergies in our respective missions. With OCPH’s emphasis on frameworks for person-centred care and skilled communication, the partnership promises to yield meaningful contributions with a particular focus on communication interventions in the population health and clinical trials space.

We are privileged to be joining over 300 researchers, led by Alfred Deakin Professor Michael Berk and Professor Ken Walder, making significant strides in improving mental and physical health. Read more about IMPACT’s work.

University of Southern Denmark

Time has flown since we had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Jette Ammentorp from the University of Southern Denmark as our visiting Thinker and Expert in Residence. Now, we are thrilled to reciprocate and embark on a visit the University of Southern Denmark and the Centre for Patient Communication (CFPK) in Odense to share our OCPH perspective on healthcare communication.

Left image: A picture of Professor Jette Ammentorp, Professor Judy Currey and Dr David Speakman. Right image: a picture of Odense, Denmark from across the harbour with building reflected in the water. taken by Thomas Mørkeberg

In the coming weeks, Professor Peter Martin and Meg Chiswell will lead a series of education and collaboration opportunities with our Danish counterparts. These include a summer school for interprofessional students, professional development for health educators, further work on our joint communication mastery series, a grand round presentation of evidence to Danish clinicians, and collaborative feedback on our forthcoming Conversations Coach app, designed to support regional clinicians through the Conversations Matter program.

This academic visit promises to foster knowledge sharing, innovation, and a deeper understanding of implementing positive change in healthcare communication. We eagerly anticipate the outcomes of this visit and the improvements it will bring to healthcare practices in both our institutions.

Supporting regional doctors

Thanks to the ongoing support of the Regional Training Hubs, we have had a busy few weeks visiting around the state to support local doctors in accessing training in their area. Through a mixture of in-person training sessions and online coaching and webinars, we’ve been able to connect with groups of fantastic local clinicians without the need for them to travel large distances.

Clockwise from left: A group of people pictured from behind sitting watching a presenter in front of a whiteboard at the OCPH workshop in Traralgon, a group of people picture from behind sitting watching two presenters in front of a screen at the OCPH workshop in Traralgon and a group of people pictured from behind sitting watching two presenters in front of a screen at the OCPH workshop in Traralgon

This year’s events have been hosted by the Western Victoria, North West Victoria, Gippsland, Goulburn Valley and Border Regional Training Hubs, to support excellence in regional medicine training.

We extend our warmest thanks to the hubs for the continued opportunity to be part of building regional capacity and supporting much-needed local professional development opportunities.

Upcoming events

By popular demand we have released new tickets for our October Masterclass for all health professionals. New tickets are also available for November, so be quick to secure your place, or contact us about joining the waitlist! Register now

Advertisement for the OCPH Masterclass Series featuring a picture of Waurn Ponds Estate at night viewed from across a lake with lights reflected in the water

From our alumni

“To have been coached in the validated and researched methodology was mind opening, and at the same time heartwarming.”- Doctor, OCPH Workshop July 2023

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Newsletter archive:

June 2023





9 August 2023

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