Meaghan Springett – Finalist for HESTA’s Nurse of the Year Award

We are proud to announce that Meaghan Springett is a finalist for the Nurse of the Year Award in this year’s prestigious HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards!

We are proud to announce that Meaghan Springett is a finalist for the Nurse of the Year Award in this year’s prestigious HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards!

The awards celebrate life-changing work in nursing and midwifery, early childhood education and care, community services, disability services, allied health and aged care.

Improving care and outcomes for people with disability

Meaghan’s work throughout her almost ten years working at Yooralla has made an enormous contribution to improving care and outcomes for people with disability.

Combining her background in disability support, and expertise as an enrolled nurse – Meaghan was key to successfully setting up Yooralla’s Hospital to Home (H2H) and Young Onset Dementia (YOD) services. The YOD service being the first accommodation service in Victoria supporting young people with dementia in a social model setting and not an aged care setting.

In establishing and running these services, Meaghan regularly goes above and beyond to ensure the programs successfully meet the needs of residents and are sustainable long term.

Getting people with disability out of hospital and into home

Through the H2H program, Yooralla was the first disability provider in Victoria to support a patient to leave hospital as part of the Victorian Government’s ‘Pathways to Home’ program. The program supports people with disability to move out of hospital and into a more home-like environment, while waiting for permanent housing and support arrangements.

Yooralla has supported 26 out of 203 (13%) of all participants in the Government’s program, with a number making the decision to remain permanently at a Yooralla service due to their positive experience and the quality of support they received through H2H. The support for the 26 people assisted by the program to move out of hospital from December 2021 to June 2023, has saved 2,347 hospital bed days overall.

All of this is in large part due to Meaghan’s contribution. Meaghan was responsible for the planning and establishment of the service at Yooralla, taking less than 6 months to get the service up and running and establishing agreements with five health services.

Supporting clients with Young Onset Dementia

Meaghan was also the driving force in setting up Yooralla’s YOD service, established in 2023, to work to address the issue of people with YOD (under the age of 65 years) not having access to suitable accommodation options, resulting in them resorting to living in aged care homes in order to get the care they require.

Our YOD service is NDIS funded and provides specialist accommodation and tailored 24-hour support for people with young onset dementia. The YOD service has been specifically designed so individuals with dementia can be supported in their own home with housemates closer to their age, rather than in a nursing home.

We currently have three clients residing in Yooralla’s Thornbury specialist supported accommodation through our YOD service.

About Meaghan

Meaghan has showcased different skills across her roles at Yooralla, but whichever role she has taken on she has carried out to a high standard of excellence, ensuring that client goals and experience are always at the centre.

She has demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to provide the best support to people with disability, especially those with complex support needs. Meaghan works closely with individuals and their families to understand what their specific goals and aspirations are and determine the best way to reach these.

Meaghan is also a mentor for other Service Managers, having trained staff both internally and externally to build their skills and confidence. As a manager and program leader, Meaghan takes a collaborative approach. She is open to different views and approaches to a situation, she is very flexible, incorporates feedback and creates a ‘no judgment’ environment.

In all, Meaghan remains humble, encapsulated by the comment from one stakeholder that “she is just a lovely person to speak with”.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been nominated for this award,” she said.

“I am so honoured to have my work recognised in this way by Yooralla and feel that it is a result of fantastic leadership, teamwork and unity from the Yooralla team,” said Meaghan.

Congratulations Meaghan and best of luck for the awards!

The Award winners will be announced on Thursday 16 May, at a special event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Read more about the HESTA Awards on their website

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