The role of Expert Patients

Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA) sponsors two Expert Patients at our Wednesday and Thursday clinics at Groote Schuur Hospital. The term Expert Patient is not a new one. Since June 2007 PATA has been funding a pilot expert patient programme in 20 Southern African clinics. The aim is to facilitate task shifting within clinics to reduce the stress of the clinical team. This idea complements Kidzpositive's entrepreneurial approach to improving quality of health care delivered in the Public Service

The expert patient may be deployed in many ways: From helping with childcare whilst patients wait to be seen, to taking folders to the pharmacy, to providing clinical assistance and support to new patients and their caregivers.

Expert patients are extremely helpful. Mothers who are part of our Beadwork group are able to sit in the waiting room and complete their orders, safe in the knowledge that their children are with an Expert Patient who is not only watching over them but stimulating their play and interactions. Children are surrounded with a variety of toys, with drawing materials and posters. Expert patients read stories, sing songs and play games with the children. We feel that this is a valuable space for our young patients to play, interact and learn whilst waiting to be seen by our nurses and doctors.

Our experienced expert patients can provide valuable advice and mentorship to patients newly entering our service, on how to get your child to take regular medication, where to find the counselors, where to meet the support group, where to pick up medication and where to make your next appointment. This care assists newcomers who may be overwhelmed and uncertain at their first clinic visit.

We continue to add value to the Expert Patient programme through monitoring and evaluating their progress. Expert Patients are eager to add to their skills and enhance the service that they provide. Expert Patients are currently being assisted in developing 'play plans' for clinic days.

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Ndebele cards

Our new product 'Ndebele cards' feature beautiful ethnic designs on beaded squares with a pin attached so you are buying more than just a card and your purchase is supporting a family affected by HIV/AIDS. The beadwork can be worn as a brooch or pinned to a bag. The cards are R20 each and can be ordered from or inquiries to
+27 21 686 9710.