HERE TO HELP: West Moreton Health social workers Sara Ellis, Catherine Stanbrook and Lynette Kindt during a team briefing in Townsville.
HERE TO HELP: West Moreton Health social workers Sara Ellis, Catherine Stanbrook and Lynette Kindt during a team briefing in Townsville.

Ipswich answers call of flood-ravaged Townsville

IPSWICH and its surrounds know first hand the devastation a flood can cause and West Moreton Health have answered a call for help from their north Queensland colleagues in the wake of the recent disaster.

Social workers, mental health clinicians, environmental health officers and an anaesthetic nurse from the region are among the army of Queensland helpers who have converged on Townsville to lend a hand.

Social workers Lynette Kindt, Sara Ellis and Catherine Stanbrook, who normally work in Ipswich Hospital's Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit Women, Children and Family services, will be based at Townsville Hospital for the next week.

Chris Watkins and Palani Thevar, from Mental Health and Specialised Services' community and acute care teams also deployed last Friday to help deliver immediate services and prepare the community for long-term recovery.

The three social workers were among the first to be deployed to the stricken area.

Since then, offers to help have continued to flow.

Two members of West Moreton Health's Public Health Unit, Bruce Morton and Deborah Hemmes, anaesthetic nurse Helen Owen Cooper and mental health clinician Jodi-Ann Maguire all deployed to Townsville earlier this week.

Social Work Director Fiona Demnar said the deployed team had prior crisis experiencing responding to natural disasters, including in Ipswich, Roma and Bundaberg.

They will help their northern counterparts respond to the increased demand for social support and cover for Townsville social workers whose homes have been directly impacted by the floods.

"The three social workers have experience responding to crisis events like this and will be able to assess and respond to social support needs of vulnerable people who may be either displaced or vulnerable, or whose usual care needs have been disrupted by the flooding," she said.

"The Ipswich region and surrounds has of course weathered devastating floods, most recently in 2011, and we know the toll it can take on people.

"We are happy to be able to assist those in other parts of the state in their time of need."