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Toni Wilson

Winner of 2017 Queensland Safe Work Awards

Category nine – Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work

Toni Wilson is a Senior Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator for the Torres Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS). She demonstrates an influence on developing a positive return to work culture in a portfolio with a number of challenges including very remote clients.

Toni has a strong emphasis on early intervention including unique strategies such as injured workers being flown to Cairns for intensive week-long treatment with the appropriate treating medical, psychological and allied health professionals. Toni arranges for suitable duties to be provided in the Cairns TCHHS office for these visiting workers, which exemplifies the focus on durable early return to work goals.

To assist in proactive rehabilitation and return to work goals Toni has implemented frequent claims reviews and uses her expert knowledge of unique TCHHS policy needs to identify barriers and implement effective short and long term rehabilitation strategies to advance return to work outcomes. During these claims reviews Toni collaboratively and positively works with WorkCover Queensland Customer Advisors and is more than happy to share her diverse knowledge base and professional experience.

Toni Wilson
Toni Wilson

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On screen text

Toni Wilson - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

My name is Toni Wilson and I'm the Senior Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator and I work for Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service. We are the major health provider for communities in Cape York, the Northern Peninsula area and the Torres Strait. My role is injury management so I support workers who provide those health services in the event that they have an injury or illness, either work-related or non-work-related. The health services that we provide cover approximately 137,000 kilometres and we have four hospitals and 32 primary health care centres and three of those workplaces are in Cairns, so the rest of them are in a very remote or remote location.

I'm very passionate about providing care and services to our workers who injured themselves at work and ensuring that they have the same level of service in their community, the same level of health service and health care available to them regardless of whether they work in a remote or a very remote location compared to if they are working in Cairns. It's certainly a barrier to engage your workers sometimes from a very remote location. An average case for me is a worker, say for example in Cape York and maybe an indigenous worker and often, I need to engage a support person to assist with ensuring that they're aware of what their entitlements are and that we can ensure that they receive the appropriate medical care. It's very important to get the worker back to work as soon as possible. The longer a worker stays at home and receiving treatment, the harder it is then for them to return to their usual role.

I do share my outcomes with other organizations and certainly within Queensland Health as well and I think it's important especially with other hospital and health services with similar geographical sizes and similar challenges that we can learn from each other. It's very rewarding to have a worker who has been injured at work and being able to efficiently get them rehabilitated and back to the workplace where that they can be as highly functioning as possible with the end game being that they return to their normal role. What gets me up in the morning is being able to help people get them back to work as soon as possible and being able to do that safely, ensuring that they can continue to receive their wage and that they're in their usual job and they can pay their mortgage and support their family.RUN TIME: 2min 38sec