Working with shared purpose to benefit the community and their health needs

Working with shared purpose to benefit the community and their health needs Conference Paper

14th National Rural Health Conference: A World of Rural Health

  • Author(s): Ward, J
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance

Abstract: The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), Country Primary Health Network (PHN) has been tasked with ensuring that health services delivered in their regions are required, equitable and affordable. The commissioning of chronic disease and mental health services in three PHN regions (Midwest, Goldfields and South West) afforded the opportunity to challenge long-standing service delivery models, to ensure services were being delivered appropriately and to those in most need. Each region tailored the look of potential new services to the needs of their communities, with engagement and collaboration being paramount to achieving the common goal of equity and value for money for these services. To ensure all voices were heard, a community forum was held in each major centre throughout the regions so that the community had an opportunity to discuss their health needs and where perceived gaps were in service provision. Country WA PHN staff also met with general practitioners, representatives from the WA Country Health Service, non-Government organisations, the Police, Shires and community groups, to hear their views on current and potential health services for their district. Cognisant of the fact that funding partners would, potentially, add value to possible new services, staff met with various organisations, such as, the Department for Aboriginal Affairs, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Mental Health Commission. Service providers for a particular region were given the opportunity, in a forum setting, to discuss their services and how better they could interact with each other to negate duplication. Following this extensive consultation, areas of un-met need were identified. Ideas on how to address these were taken to the various government and non-government organisations, ensuring, that where possible, existing partnerships were maintained and strengthened. In the Midwest, one area of need was the provision of an Aboriginal AoD worker. This worker would complement an existing position by being the opposite gender, for cultural reasons. After negotiation with service providers, a consortium was used to employ the worker to ensure that as many clients as possible have access to this position. The Midwest is just one of seven regions across Country WA, all with unique characteristics, each requiring different approaches. The presentation will compare the approaches taken in the Midwest, South West and Goldfields and explore the key elements (similarities and differences) in each approach.

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Suggested Citation
Ward, J, 2017, Working with shared purpose to benefit the community and their health needs, Conference Paper, viewed 01 December 2021,

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