Street Doctor joins forces with Womens Health and Family Services

Sharon Maxwell (Manager Clinical Services Women's Health and Family Services) and Lisa Winter (360 GP Services Manager). Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Sharon Maxwell (Manager Clinical Services Women's Health and Family Services) and Lisa Winter (360 GP Services Manager). Photo: Andrew Ritchie

IT’S hard to miss the colourful Street Doctor van out on the roads of Perth.

The van will now be parked up outside Womens Health and Family Services (WHFS) on Newcastle Street in Northbridge every Wednesday evening, as part of a new partnership between the groups.

WHFS clinical manager Sharon Maxwell said providing an affordable and accessible GP service to the community was a priority, with a particular focus on vulnerable and marginalised people.

“Wednesday evenings are becoming quite the hive of activity at the Northbridge clinic,” Ms Maxwell said.

The Street Doctor is open to all, and WHFS has female doctors and nurses specifically for women’s health along with advocacy, support and counselling appointments.

WHFS also offers WA’s first female only Self Management and Recovery Training group to help women work through addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling and other problematic behaviours.

“We refer often to the Street Doctor if we have clients who need that service, and having them here on a Wednesday made that so much easier – it’s all about people knowing that the doctor is here and getting the word around,” Ms Maxwell said.

Lisa Winter, 360 GP services manager, said from the first night and the first client, the co-location had worked “perfectly to plan”.

“Both of our services are a good atmosphere for conversations to happen, because we’re not a traditional clinical kind of set up,” she said.

The Street Doctor can be found outside WHFS at 227 Newcastle Street every Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm.

No appointment is necessary and all services are bulk billed.