AIM: The aim of this study is to evaluate the breadth and depth of the allied health workforce providing renal services in Queensland, Australia.
METHODS: Workforce statistics were reported for allied health renal services (excluding transplant) across all 14 publically funded regions across Queensland, Australia. Dietetics, pharmacy, podiatry, psychology and social work were compared with workforce benchmarks capturing full-time equivalent (FTE) to dialysis patient numbers (1 FTE:diaysis patients).
RESULTS: Wide variation was evident within and between professions. All services provided dietetics, with nine services meeting the benchmark, with an average (median) of 1:127 (range 1:36-1:207). Ten services provided pharmacy (1:245 [1:36-1:845]), twelve provided social work (1:191 [1:71-1:845]) and seven provided psychology services (1:396 [1:155-1:1690]). Only one-third of units funded podiatry services (1:1077 [1:143-1:4300]), none of which met benchmark.
CONCLUSION: There is a clear disparity in allied health workforce across in this region, with the vast majority below benchmark recommendations. In light of increasing demand for this area, it is timely to identify strategies for innovative workforce design to manage growth in allied health service needs into the future.