Trish is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in the management and administration of community and clinical care programs in both the public and private sectors. In 1998 she was admitted as a member of the Royal College of Nursing Australia.
She worked as a generalist community nurse at the Central Coast Health Service, a pilot program with the Northern Metropolitan Health region. Upon relocating to Coffs Harbour Trish took up a position as a generalist community nurse with the North Coast Area Health Service where she served for 10 years, the last five as the Nursing Unit manager of the Community Nursing team. During this time she identified gaps in community aged care services and the lack of flexibility available to clients, in particular war veterans wanting to remain living independently at home for as long as possible even to the end of life.
She resigned from her position at the Health Service, acquired a Dept. of Veterans Affairs provider number and launched Coffs Harbour Home Nursing Service as it was known then starting off as a one woman practitioner operating from the family home. As the referrals kept coming in Trish gradually employed new staff and has grown the business to now employing 60 + staff members.
In 2003 she was approached by the Division of General Practice to become a member of the Palliative Care Advisory Group and a service delivery partner for a 3 year program (2003-2006) funded under the Commonwealth Rural Palliative Care Program and following on from there the Integrated Network Palliative Care Project (2006-2009).
The organisations active participation in the projects ensured that all palliative care clients had direct access to specialist advice in managing complex symptom and care issues through a multi-disciplinary process.
All care staff were upskilled in the provision of palliative care with our RN’s trained as Link nurses to the area health specialist team.
This enhanced the team approach to care and further engaged the treating GP in the planning and delivery of evidenced based palliative care. Trish continued to meet with the Division of General Practice to consider opportunities to improve the local Primary Health Care workforce capacity and more specifically proposals involving integrated models of care that improves client’s access to the right services at the right time.
In 2005 the organisation diversified services upon receiving an allocation of Community High Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Dept. of Health and Ageing. In 2009 were successful in an application to provide Respite Services under the National Respite for Carers Program. (In-home and group activities.) In 2012 acquired further Community Aged Care Packages in the second round of the Consumer Directed Care pilot program.
We employ over 70 qualified and experienced staff with a broad range of skills who are committed to providing the highest standard of care. Our team love what they do and are devoted to ensuring that clients are valued, live independent lives and have the opportunity to participate fully in community life.
Founded by Trish Plunkett in 1991, NSW HSS owes its success to Trish’s dedication and desire to make a difference in the lives of others in the community we serve. Trish has always believed that better outcomes of care where possible could be achieved when people are given the choice to be cared for in the familiar surroundings and comfort of their own home.
We are pro-active regarding cultural diversity, using a holistic approach to ensure effective and relevant service delivery or support. We acknowledge that cultural diversity goes further than knowing the values, practises, beliefs and customs of a person. It also relates to one’s religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, age and disability status.