Emergency child minding service for health staff
Tropical Cyclone Yasi caused major damage to the town of Townsville and resulted in a surge of patients presenting to The Townsville Hospital Emergency Department.
The disaster plan activated at The Townsville Hospital included cancelling nonessential clinics and opening an emergency child-minding service to enable staff to return to work. The service was staffed primarily by pediatric allied health,
but other allied health, nursing, and assistant staff participated, as did a number of suitably qualified volunteers.
  • Alternative deployments for health workers whose normal duties are temporarily suspended
  • Provision of child care services for front-line workers
  • Nurses - Licensed Practical
  • Nurses - Registered
  • Volunteers
  • Other Health Care Workers
The beginning of 2011 is recalled as Australia’s “summer of natural disasters,”
with catastrophic events such as the “inland tsunami” at Toowoomba, major flooding in South East Queensland, and Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasi occurring within the span of only a few weeks.
  • Hospitals
Formal Strategy
Lawlor, J., Franklin, R. C., Aitken, P., Hooke, B., Furyk, J., & Johnson, A. (2014). Perceptions of the utility and acceptability of an emergency child minding service for health staff. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness, 8(6), 485–488.
Jenine Lawlor
The Townsville Hospital
Published Literature

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