Promote and prioritise an integrated health system

We will scale up initiatives that focus on better connecting the primary health care system and greater integration with WA’s hospitals and other mutually dependent funded services. In supporting the transformation of the health system, we will adopt an approach to design and commission services that removes duplication, fosters connection and strives for seamless patient care.

National leadership

Combined with our strong partnerships, our state-wide structure as the operator of WA’s three PHNs allows us to deliver better health, together for the benefit of the WA community, and more widely.

As the current Chair of the PHN Cooperative, our CEO collaborates with her counterparts across all 31 PHNs to drive progress in delivering on a national agenda in primary health priority areas.

  • Primary Health Insights
  • National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards
  • PHN Cooperative submission to the Australian Government’s Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan

Primary Health Insights

Led by WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), Primary Health Insights has been the largest and most complex national project undertaken by PHNs, and the first at this scale by PHNs operating as a collective.

National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare Standards

WAPHA was represented on the Advisory Committee tasked with leading the development of the National Safety and Quality Primary Healthcare Standards.  The National Safety and Quality Commission developed the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards for services that deliver health care in a primary and/or community setting. The standards are person-centred and describe the processes and structures that are needed to deliver safe and high-quality health care.

PHN Cooperative submission to the Australian Government’s Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan

WAPHA coordinated this submission, as a strategic project undertaken by all 31 PHNs, to articulate a proposed future for the Primary Health Network Program over the next five years within the context of the Government’s primary healthcare reform strategy. It is intended to be a catalyst for further discussions with the Department of Health and external stakeholders and to drive PHN involvement in the implementation of the Plan’s final set of recommendations.

Joining up WA’s mental health and alcohol and other drug systems

A joint plan for mental health and alcohol and other drug services across the Western Australian health system will help people seeking support to get the right help, regardless of their first point of access.

WAPHA led the development of the WA Foundational Plan for Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and Suicide Prevention (add link to document) which is a Commonwealth and State government agreed deliverable under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

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Representing primary care in voluntary assisted dying

WAPHA was nominated by WA’s Minister for Health to represent primary health care in the implementation of the State’s Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, which became accessible to eligible Western Australians on 1 July 2021.

As a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Leadership Team, our General Manager Strategy and Engagement, Chris Kane, led and participated in several of the implementation workstreams.

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We also led the development of the successful Implementation Conference.

“We owe it to the people of Western Australia to ensure that if they require access to voluntary assisted dying, the health professionals they approach are well informed, and able to provide appropriate, informed and compassionate advice as a part of end-of-life care.” – General Manager Strategy and Engagement, Chris Kane

As a member of the Primary Care Expert Advisory Group, WAPHA will continue to work with GPs and other professionals across the health industry and related care sectors, to make sure we all understand our obligations and responsibilities under the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation.

Improving access to digital health

We are part of a Digital Health CRC Project with WA Country Health Service and Curtin University, titled Moving beyond telehealth: adapting enhanced clinical processes with technology to improve access, equity, efficiency and population health in rural and remote Australia

Consumer consultation has begun with a view to understanding the barriers to undertaking virtual health consultations from anywhere at any time without the requirement to present at a Department of Health WA facility. The project is due for completion in first half of 2022.

Health Service Provider Protocols

Recommendation 10 of the State’s Sustainable Health Review required partnership agreements between WAPHA and WA’s five Health Service Providers (HSPs) to facilitate joint planning, priority setting and commissioning of integrated care.

With WAPHA assuming a leadership and coordinating role, we are pleased to confirm all five HSP Protocols are now in place. These will facilitate Recommendation 10 of the Sustainable Health Review focusing on joint regional planning, priority setting and the commissioning of integrated care services and pathways.

Reshaping the way primary and secondary care work together

The Great Southern GP Psychiatry Support Service is an initiative of the HSP Protocols, a partnership between WA Country Health Service and WAPHA.

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The power of community

The power of community couldn’t be clearer than in the way we are seeing people come together to form local Alliances Against Depression (AAD), promoting support for people living with depression by initiating community-based intervention activities.

This year saw two further grassroot Alliances launched, being Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville AAD and Belmont AAD. Along with existing Alliances in Kalamunda Mundaring, Rockingham and Busselton Dunsborough, this takes the WA total to five.

Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville AAD brought together over 50 local stakeholders committed to improving the care of people in their community. Through leveraging partnerships, they delivered 10 training and education workshops for volunteers, peer to peer support workers, media, people with lived experience and police officers.

In June 2021, Cockburn Fremantle Melville AAD secured a Lotterywest grant, allowing them to continue their work in increasing the understanding of depression in the community, improving access to local mental health pathways, improving care and support for people experiencing depression and reducing suicidal acts.

Read more about the importance of general practice and PHNs in suicide prevention, including our use of the AAD framework.

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Year in Review 2020-21

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