WAPHA and the WA PHNs are committed to developing open, accountable and respectful relationships with the diversity of stakeholders in primary health. WAPHA has a range of formal and informal networks to facilitate stakeholder relationships. These include PHN committee structures as well as forums and focus groups to inform specific aspects of our work.

WAPHA and the WA PHNs welcome the opportunity to make new connections with the stakeholders in primary health and encourages ongoing online conversation through Primary Health Exchange.

Engagement example – Informing Primary Care Responses to Chronic Health Conditions in Western Australia

Chronic conditions are long lasting with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on a person’s quality of life, place a significant burden on individual people and carers, and the health care system. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common and a priority for action in the primary health sector.

Naïve Inquiry Study

Chris Kane presents on chronic conditions at Naive Inquiry forum – 1 December 2017

The Naïve Inquiry has been led by WAPHA in collaboration with Professor Suzanne Robinson from the Curtin University School of Public Health, Royal Australian College of General Practice and WA General Practice Education and Training (Part 1) and the Health Consumers’ Council (WA) (Part 2). It has involved two qualitative research projects that were conducted during 2016 and 2017, as part of the larger process of developing new models of Primary Care in Western Australia. The Naïve Inquiry approach is one that aims to explore a range of stakeholder views and experiences with open questions and without assumptions.

Part 1 : Consultation with primary care clinicians 

A collaboration between WAPHA, Curtin University, WA General Practice Education and Training and Royal Australian College of General Practice, Part 1 of the Inquiry explored the experience of practice staff with the management of chronic conditions in general practice. Selected metropolitan and country general practices provided their perspectives on current management practices for patients with chronic and complex conditions (specifically the tri-morbid patient cohort), perceived barriers to providing optimal care, and any “work arounds” being employed to address these barriers, and system changes needed in primary health care to better manage the care of this patient cohort.

Part 2 : Health consumers

WAPHA, Curtin University and the Health Consumers Council (HCC) commenced the second part of the Naïve Inquiry in 2017, focusing on the experiences and views of health consumers with multiple chronic health conditions residing in the Perth metropolitan area and two regional areas. 6 focus groups were conducted, with 46 participants sharing their perspectives with the researchers and each other.

The themes and summary report of the research were presented at an open forum on Friday 1 December 2017 – Chronic Health Condition Management in Primary Care: GP and consumer perspectives.

Naive Inquiry 2017 Brochure

Naive Inquiry 2017_Informing Primary Care Responses to Chronic Health Conditions


Stakeholder Framework

To guide engagement with stakeholders WAPHA has adopted the Australian Department of Health’s Stakeholder Engagement Principles (DoH Stakeholder Engagement Framework 2005).

These, together with the International Association of Public Participation Core Values, underpin WAPHA and the WA PHNs Engagement Framework.

Stakeholder Engagement Principles:


We begin every engagement with a clear understanding of what we want to achieve.

  • While our engagement will be driven by our strategic priorities, we must be aware of our stakeholders’ objectives, environment, expertise and level of influence.
  • When we know why we need to engage and we agree on what success looks like, it is easier to conduct focused and meaningful engagement.
  • By planning our communication and managing expectations, we aim to build lasting goodwill with stakeholders participating in the process and develop an understanding about their capacity to engage.


We identify relevant stakeholders and make it easier for them to engage.

  • We identify and enable the participation of those people and organisations who contribute to, influence, or are affected by our work.  This includes those that may be harder to reach for reasons such as language, culture or mobility.
  • We provide our stakeholders with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.


We involve stakeholders from the start and agree on when and how to engage.

  • We will clearly identify and explain the engagement process, and negotiate with stakeholders, where possible, as to timelines.
  • This includes meeting schedules, and response times for information requests or feedback.


We are open and honest in our engagement and set clear expectations.

  • We will provide information so stakeholders can participate in a meaningful way and will foster a culture of sharing ideas.
  • We will clearly identify and explain the engagement process, the role of stakeholders in the engagement process, and communicate how their input will inform the project.


We acknowledge and respect the expertise, perspective, and needs of stakeholders.

  • We understand that engagement is a two-way process.  We take care to be open to alternative views and to listen as well as speak.
  • We respect our stakeholders’ expertise and appreciate the benefits of mutual learning.
  • We recognise the different communication needs and preferences of stakeholders and endeavour to meet these.