Community Project: Case Study

Dr Daniel Rankmore

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Tamworth Perspectives
Completed in: Tamworth, NSW

About the Community Project

The Community Project forms part of the population health requirement of the Rural Generalist Fellowship and makes it unique to other rural general practice fellowships. Completed over 6-12 months during your time in a rural community, it is a valuable opportunity to get to know the community and improve health outcomes – including a quality improvement activity undertaken within a general practice with the primary purpose to monitor, evaluate or improve the quality of healthcare delivered by the practice.

The RACGP Rural team spoke directly to Dr Daniel Rankmore about his Community Project in Tamworth.

Tamworth Tamworth town

My community project was titled Autism Spectrum Disorders: Tamworth Perspectives. The objectives included:

  • Increasing awareness amongst health professional and the community
  • Encouraging early assessment and access to services
  • Streamlining communication and referral pathways between general practitioners, paediatricians and allied health.

Site visits throughout the project and a PHN facilitated education night at the end of the project provided opportunity to share perspectives and network with other interested professionals. 

Neurodiversity is a fascinating aspect of humanity that present various challenges in the community. I saw the project as an opportunity to improve my knowledge, give answers to families that presented to me, and help connect with the multidisciplinary teams required to care for affected children and families. 

The project focused on local resources within the Tamworth region. 

The community project was the last component of my Fellowship . I started planning in 2016 but completed the bulk of it in 2018. I had completed previously completed the Emergency Medicine Certificate, my JCCA anaesthetic training and my FRACGP. 

The final aspect of the project was a collaborative professional development night with the Primary Health Network. The night included various speakers including parent/carer, childhood early intervention, occupational therapy, psychology, paediatrics and general practice. Coordinating that range of speakers was the biggest challenge and the night was set back on two or three occasions. 

I found professional networking the most rewarding aspect of the project. I’ve personally met with and visited the majority of service providers catering for children with ASD in the Tamworth Region. This has been beneficial to my own understanding and helps with connecting patients with local services. 

As a family doctor I frequently had young families presenting seeking help. Prior to the project I felt a little lost as to how to handle, encourage and refer these families. After the project I had renewed confidence on the conditions involved and could help navigate families through various services. 

I believe the projected provided a great deal of encouragement between the services within town and improved understanding of how the services can interact. 

Get on and get it done. Pick a project that is personally interesting, beneficial to the community, and an appropriate challenge to be completed within 6-12 months. 


For further details please contact the Rural team on:
1800 636 764