The Western T2 Diabetes Scholarship has been developed as part of the Care Partnership – Diabetes (CP-D) program to support the health workforce that provides care for people living with T2 Diabetes across Western and Far West NSW. The program aims to support access to further training and education for health professionals in primary health and hospital settings to enhance the level of care patients receive.
CP-D is a partnership between Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD), Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN), NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN). The program is supported by contributions from these organisations, along with funding from the NSW Government, as part of the Collaborative Commissioning 2 program.
Recently, an EOI was available to Western and Far West health professionals to apply for scholarships, bursaries and study leave to enhance access to care for more than 11,500 people living with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in Western and Far West NSW as part of the CP-D program. Applicants were given the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 per person to attain a postgraduate qualification for the T2 Diabetes workforce.
The EOI returned 36 applications, with the majority of the applicants expressing interest in becoming Credentialled Diabetic Educators. This will contribute to managing the identified risks associated with the current workforce shortages of Diabetic Educators in the area.
Through the workforce needs assessment, it was identified that one of the barriers to completing further education was health professionals full time work commitments, which left little time for study. Under the scholarship funding, eligible applicants have been offered paid study leave days, reducing the cost in backfilling staff. Study leave will be capped at 10 working days per annum and ideally match employers’ existing study leave agreement.
The Western T2 scholarship funding also expanded eligibility requirements to include LHD staff who were previously ineligible for scholarship funding.
After receiving a great response to the program’s initiative, the EOI closed on the 16th of April 2023 and successful applicants have now been invited to submit their applications.
$260,000 has been allocated from CP-D to support the Western T2 Scholarship and paid study leave, a further $70,000 has been made available through the HWSP to support the upskilling of health professionals to develop skills in diabetes care.
The CP-D team is looking to secure additional funding for the upcoming financial year to continue to support the growing number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Western and Far West NSW.