Dr Ross Clifton, Tara Alexander and Vice Chancellor Dr Patricia Davidson at the 20 year celebration

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre marks 20 years

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre marks 20 years

Celebration brought together AROC staff, alumni and stakeholders

On Friday 14 October, the Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) at the University of Wollongong (UOW) marked 20 years since it was established to drive quality and outcome improvements in medical rehabilitation services.

AROC is the national rehabilitation medicine integrated outcomes centre for Australia and New Zealand. It is a joint initiative of the Australian rehabilitation sector and includes providers, funders, regulators and consumers. AROC now supports nearly 300 rehabilitation services throughout Australia and New Zealand with approximately 128,000 patients treated in 2020 and a database with two million patient rehabilitation episodes of care.

Dr Ross Clifton, Director of AROC, said “In our 20 years of operation, we have continued to improve our national benchmarking system which has led to significant clinical rehabilitation outcome improvements for patients in inpatient and ambulatory settings.

“I am exceptionally proud of the growth, achievements and impact that AROC has delivered.

“The event brought together a number of important people who have helped make AROC what it is today and it is everyone who has helped shape AROC over the years that we want to particularly acknowledge and thank.”

At the celebration, Tara Alexander, AROC Statistician and Data Manager, who recently received a was recognised by UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson for her 20 years of dedication to rehabilitation research.

Professor Davidson said that the work of AROC is ongoing and remains as crucial as ever.

“The work AROC do behind the scenes has been crucial to getting rehabilitation to the level that it is today in Australia. In both our promotion of good health, prevention of disease, treatment and palliative care. There will however be many future challenges due to changes in the health and characteristics of the population, including an aging population with more chronic disease and disability,” Professor Davidson said.

The event also included a presentation from Professor Lynne Turner-Stokes from King’s College London.  Ten years ago, Professor Turner-Stokes visited AROC in Wollongong with an interest in establishing a similar centre in the United Kingdom. She is now Director of the UK Rehabilitation Outcomes Collaborative (UKROC), which provides the national clinical registry database for specialist rehabilitation in the UK and is commissioned by NHS England to provide national benchmarking on quality and outcomes for rehabilitation services in England.

Prof Turner-Stokes shared her experiences from the time when UKROC was established as well the similarities and differences between the UK-based centre and the Australian-based centre, as UKROC has grown over the past 10 years.