Bupa to offer increased choice for people with disability with new therapy centre

Bupa today announced it would open a purpose-built, state-of-the-art centre to provide specialist therapeutic services for people with disability.

It was co-designed with the disability community and will initially deliver physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy under the one roof to people over 18 years-of-age.

It will be located in West Melbourne and open later in 2017.

The hub was designed with direct input from people with disability, their families and carers, and clinicians.

Bupa will continue to consult people from the disability community to guide the implementation of the hub.

This initiative will offer a truly integrated approach to care for people with disability. It will have a dedicated welcome area, treatment rooms and a gymnasium for individual and group therapy. It will also cater for carers and other family members, with lounges, tea and coffee making facilities, wifi, internet terminals and desk space.

Bupa's expansion of services to people with disability follows the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2013. The national roll out of the NDIS began in July and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Bupa Medical General Manager Dr Ros Blakley said the hub would not be limited to Bupa customers or NDIS participants.

“The NDIS is all about giving people with disability control over the support and services they use. Bupa’s Therapy Hub is as an opportunity for us to listen to people with disability to better help meet their needs,” Dr Blakley said.

“We asked our customers what they wanted and they told us they want a better standard of care. They also encouraged us to take a lead with service delivery, so that’s what we’re doing.

“We want to take the time to give people with disability what they deserve – and that’s the services and support they need to live their lives to the full.

“There are more than 4.3 million Australians with disability. Currently, many of those Australians don’t have access to adequate resources and expertise.

“There is also a real shortage of therapy services designed to help people with disability, their families and carers.

“Everything from layout to lighting has been taken into consideration.

“The bottom line is we want to create a great experience for the people who access our services. For instance, we’ve been told that the convenience of having multiple services under one roof is important because it means people travel less and receive more coordinated care.”

Bupa has deep knowledge in complex care and rehabilitation. In addition to running seven rehabilitation centres in New Zealand, Bupa today cares for close to 12,000 residents in 130 aged care homes across Australia and New Zealand.

“Given our history in rehabilitation services and complex care, we believe we can play a meaningful role in helping address these important community needs, particularly as people now have greater control of their choices through the NDIS," Dr Blakley said.

“We’ve listened carefully to people with disability, their families and carers, and clinicians. That’s why we’re confident this purpose-built facility will make a difference by delivering high-quality, person-first care.

“We want this to be a welcoming environment for people with disability, a place of comfort and convenience for carers and a great place to work for clinicians.”

“We’re approaching this as a learning experience. We’re not assuming we have all the answers. Instead, we’re listening to the experts – people with disability, their families and carers."
Dr Ros Blakley, Bupa Medical General Manager

Interested to learn more?

People enquiring about the new facility or its services can contact www.bupa.com.au/therapy

To learn more about how the centre was co-designed with the disbaility community, Dr Ros Blakley writes about the human centred design process here.