Nurse Navigators

The Nurse Navigator (NN) Service helps families of children with complex conditions navigate the services/specialties they need to access across the healthcare system. We provide a range of support aimed at educating and empowering families to be actively involved in their child’s care and treatment across the healthcare journey.

The QCH nurse navigators link with statewide paediatric services through other nurse navigators in regional, rural and remote areas to coordinate care for their patients. There are also links with nurse navigators in adult services and with the connected care program. The Nurse Navigator Service is a state-wide service (including northern New South Wales).

What we do

  • Provide navigation support across the patient journey.
  • Create partnerships with community and local care providers, hospital and healthcare providers and non-government organisations.
  • Assess health literacy to support patients and families understand their health and the healthcare system.
  • Take your feedback on board to help improve systems and processes in the healthcare journey.
  • Make sure that patients are receiving evidence-based care.
  • Provide support to families who have recently returned home after being discharged from hospital. We help families through this transition period by making sure that they are connected with a local primary care provider.
  • Make sure that families are getting the most out of each hospital visit e.g. optimal use of any general anaesthetic, reducing unnecessary hospital visits, etc.
  • Lead and coordinate meetings with different care providers/services patients need to access and arrange telehealth consultations where appropriate.

Where to get help for a child with newly diagnosed complex medical concerns when they are new to the healthcare system

There are a range of support services available for children and young people with complex healthcare needs, and their families. Find out where to get help with accommodation, counselling, education, financial assistance, transport and peer support on the Assistance for families page.

Who can access this service?

Children and adolescents with complex healthcare needs aged 0-16 years (18 years for children already under the care of the Queensland Children’s Hospital), with specific diagnosis as indicated in each nurse navigator specialty.

Catchment area

The Nurse Navigator Service is available to children and adolescents with complex healthcare needs in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Do I need a referral?

Yes. You will need a formal referral to access this service.

How do I get a referral?

Referrals are accepted from:

  • paediatric specialists
  • hospital-based medical officers (with confirmation of consultant approval)
  • nurses (with confirmation of consultant approval)
  • allied health professionals (with confirmation of lead consultant approval).

Information for health professionals

The Nurse Navigator Service provides a service for children and adolescents aged 0-16 years (up to 18 years for existing QCH patients) requiring the use of multiple services in the healthcare system and/or a complex need. The nurse navigator will provide initial assessment, identifying the need for multi-disciplinary meetings and psychosocial support for patients and their families, barriers to discharge and promotion of evidence-based care for patients. Nurse navigator services at the Queensland Children’s Hospital include:

  • home ventilation
  • home parenteral nutrition
  • transition
  • trauma
  • autism
  • endocrine
  • rural and remote
  • eating disorders
  • gender
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • general paediatrics.

The Nurse Navigator Service is a state-wide service (including northern New South Wales) that:

  • Provides care navigation across the patient journey.
  • Facilitates the application of patient-centred, integrated care pathways that are personalised and may use tools such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence pathways.
  • Ensuring evidence-based care which is focused on improved patient outcomes across the health care journey.
  • Assessment of health literacy to assess parental/patient understanding of health and health care system – education and promotion of health care literacy.
  • Creates partnership with community and local care providers, hospital and health care providers and non-government organisations to promote holistic care.
  • Provides support to families who are at home, to help them through initial discharge period and ensure linkage with a primary care provider.
  • Ensuring optimisation of hospital visits, optimal use of any general anaesthetic and reduce unnecessary hospital visits.
  • Provides outreach support to regional rural and remote service to health care providers both hospital and community.
  • Leads and coordinates Multi-disciplinary meetings and telehealth services for its patients.
  • Facilitates systems improvement with leadership role in organisation, act as an agent for change and identify areas for change to reduce fragmentation, time delays, duplication and inappropriate treatment and other barriers to effective patient centred care.

Referral instructions

If you have a child newly diagnosed with a complex healthcare need who requires multiple teams and/or has significant barriers to discharge, make a phone call to the Nurse Navigator Service (general paediatrics) on 07 3068 2169 or 0404 771 986.

If a patient is known to the QCH to have complex healthcare needs, but with does not yet have a care co-ordinator, email CHQ_NNreferrals@health.qld.gov.au. The Nurse Navigator Service will then determine the best area for care and avoid duplication.

Urgent referrals
For more urgent referrals please contact the relevant Nurse Navigator Service’s hospital switchboard. The service is not an emergency service.
t: 07 3068 1111 (QCH)

Who may benefit from this service

  • Children who have inherited/acquired conditions that make them more susceptible to requiring multiple teams for care.
  • Families new to the healthcare system with complexities where an initial body of work may help in navigation of the complex health system and help empower parents in the care journey for their child.

Useful links

Emergency fact sheets
Assistance for families
Children’s Advice and Transport Coordination Hub (CATCH)
Medication information
Medication payments while waiting for a Health Care Card fact sheet

Our team

Directors

Medical Division – Juliana Buys

Surgical Division – Karen Ehren

Child Development Services – Catherine Marron

Clinical Support – Marissa Ehmer

Nurse Navigators

Nurse Navigator General Paediatrics – Maria Ronan
Nurse Navigator General Paediatrics Rural and Remote – Shona Fitzpatrick
Nurse Navigator Transition – Samantha Horgan
Nurse Navigator Endocrine- Diabetes – Roslyn Pay
Nurse Navigator Home Parenteral Nutrition – Katie Zajac and Karen Turner
Nurse Navigator Home Ventilation – Katrina Jess and Nicole Bofinger
Nurse Navigator Trauma – Claire Lake
Nurse Navigator Indigenous and Torres Straight Islander – Vena Beetson
Nurse Navigator Autism – John Tracey
Nurse Navigator Eating Disorders – TBA
Nurse Navigator – Gender Disorders – Anya Snyder

This service is available at

Nurse Navigators
Queensland Children’s Hospital,
Level 2
501 Stanley Street
South Brisbane
QLD 4101
View map

Contact details

t: 07 30681111 (main switch) and request the service you want or ask for general paediatric nurse navigator for other enquiries
e: QCH_NNreferrals@health.qld.gov.au

Operating hours

Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm (excluding public holidays) – Service Specific.

Related Services

Connected Care Service

Resources

Child Health Service fact sheet
Child and Youth Mental Health Service locations map
Red Flags Early Identification Guide (for children aged birth to five years). Second Edition
Red Flags Early Identification Guide (for children aged birth to five years). Second Edition – A3 Poster
Emergency fact sheets
General Paediatrics and Babies