$3m plans for training facility

PLANS have been lodged for a $3 million clinical training facility at Ballina Hospital.

The multi-disciplinary educational facility is a collaboration between the Northern NSW Local Health District and the University Centre for Rural Health North Coast, thanks to funding from Health Workforce Australia.

Health district chief executive Chris Crawford said there was a need for increased growth in clinical student placements in this region.

"The new facility will be available to dental, medical, nursing and midwifery, pharmacy and allied health students from physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, dietetics, occupational therapy and speech pathology," Mr Crawford said.

"Shared accommodation across these disciplines will promote inter-professional understanding and collegiality, improving student access to team-based clinical patient encounters using the co-located dedicated clinical teaching facility."

The proposal involves a new, two-storey building at the Ballina Hospital site. On the ground floor would be a dedicated clinical teaching facility, plus short-term accommodation for 11 students.

Another nine students would be able to stay on the top floor.

It is expected that the centre will provide training benefits for future health professionals, while also delivering improved health services to the Ballina community.

The development application for the facility was lodged with Ballina Shire Council this month and is being assessed by staff.

"The accommodation and student centre will provide a consumer-focused one-entry point into a comprehensive learning environment at the Ballina Hospital Campus," Mr Crawford said.

It is hoped work on the facility will be finished in February.



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