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Clinic

Design for Care

Designing better work for the Healthcare and Social Assistance (H&SA) industry

Our mission is to improve the well-being of H&SA employees through the co-creation of SMART work design interventions.

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About us

Design for Care is a research project aimed at developing and assessing work design interventions to create mentally healthy work in the NSW healthcare and social assistance (H&SA) industry. The project is led by Professor Sharon Parker at Curtin University’s Centre for Transformative Work Design, with Professors Anya Johnson & Helena Nguyen at the University of Sydney, and Professor Alex Collie at Monash University. The project is supported by a team of research and professional staff across the three universities, and is funded by icare NSW.

We collaborate with multiple organisations in the aged care, disability care, and out-of-home care sectors to co-create mentally healthy workplaces. Together, we're working to understand how work design can be leveraged as an intervention to prevent psychological injury (e.g., burnout).

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Our latest publication

This report provides a snapshot of the ongoing Design for Care research project. It outlines three participative work redesign interventions undertaken in collaboration with partner organisations in the Healthcare and Social Assistance (H&SA) industry. Finally, it summarises three key learnings for successful work redesign.

We partner with organisations and individuals in the NSW H&SA industry

Check out our latest industry presentation on the Design for Care findings.

Design for Care researcher Dr. Anu Jolly is joined by Jeff Scobie, CEO of Macarthur Disability Services (MDS) – one of our partnering organisation - to share the results of work redesign interventions in MDS. This research was presented at the National Disability Services Conference on 5 June 2024.

Title: The PARRTH to SMART Work Design in MDS: A Design for Care Story.

Speakers:

Anu Jolly, Lecturer, School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia.

Jeff Scobie, CEO, Macarthur Disability Services.

The Design for Care approach

 

Our approach is focused on prevention and sustainability.
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The Design for Care Program seeks to prevent psychological injury by identifying SMART work design opportunities and challenges in collaboration with individuals, teams, and team leaders in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.​

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Sustainability is about building the work design capabilities in individuals, teams, team leaders, and organisations to continue to co-create mentally healthy workplaces.

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Our research program - the PARRTH Process – involves working collaboratively with individuals, teams, and leaders to develop practical work design interventions that target prevention and sustainability and could be adapted by the H&SA industry more broadly. 

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The PARRTH process involves:

  • Preparing an organisation for change;

  • Assessing work design and well-being;  

  • Reflecting with the organisation staff and management about the assessment results;  

  • Redesigning work and/or organisational processes where appropriate and feasible;  

  • Tracking the effect of the redesign; and  

  • Habituating the change into the daily functioning of the organisation.  

DFC Partners
PARRTH

Our research partners

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Testimonials from partner organisation senior leaders:

"What a great project to be involved with. Can only see positive things eventuating from this."

Design for Care Community of Practice

The community of practice aims to maximise the impact of the Design for Care project by ensuring that the research and the learnings can reach, educate and support frontline healthcare and social assistance workers.

The Community of Practice is made up of an experienced and diverse group of industry representatives who would like to contribute to better support mental health and well-being in the care and community work H&SA industry.

They include:

  • Members of government agencies with high engagement in the industry

  • Professionals in the field

  • Members of associations representing the interests of H&SA industry organisations and workers

 

 The members share their diverse industry knowledge and experience to inform the direction and outcomes of the research.

PROJECT TEAM

Project leads

DFC Project team
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Sharon K. Parker

PROFESSOR

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Anya Johnson

PROFESSOR

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

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Helena Nguyen

PROFESSOR

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

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Alex Collie

PROFESSOR

MONASH UNIVERSITY

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Project members

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Lucinda Iles

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Dr Cheryl Yam

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Dr Arian Kunzelmann

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CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Dr Nate Zettna

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

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Dr Mina Askovic

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

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Connie Deng

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

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Dr Asmare Gelaw

MONASH UNIVERSITY

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Dr Shannon Gray

MONASH UNIVERSITY

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Dr Jannecke Berecki-Gisolf

MONASH UNIVERSITY

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Cati Thomas

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Meredith Carr

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Monica Trezise

CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Anu Jolly

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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Dr Giverny de Boeck

IESEG School of Management

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Dr Vivien Forner

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

Previous project highlights

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