Anne Duncan is the Outreach Coordinator of the Victorian Respiratory Support Service.
Anne began working with ventilator dependent people in 1989 at Fairfield Hospital in Melbourne. At the time there were fewer than 40 people in Victoria using ventilators and 15 of them lived in the hospital. Anne was the Nurse Unit Manager of the ward from 1990 to 1998. In 1996 Fairfield Hospital closed and the unit moved to the Bowen Centre at the Austin hospital.
In 1998, with Department of Health funding, Anne set up the Victorian Respiratory Support Service Outreach Service. This is a state-wide service that provides equipment, information and support for ventilator users living in the community. Anne operated alone in this role until 2005 when she took over the contract for ventilator service/repair and the staff expanded to manage to the additional work. The Outreach team now consists of four Nurses, one Bio-medical Engineer and a part-time secretary. The team has 700 clients under their care, 600 of whom use a ventilator to help maintain their respiratory health. Approximately 10% of the clients are people living with the late effects of polio.
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