The program of work being undertaken by the NSW Regional Health Partners during 2019 is made up of the three main priority areas of end of life, healthy weight and health economics. All of the projects focus on improving health care for regional, rural and remote people.
NSW Regional Health Partners developed a framework to inform, guide and promote the evaluation and implementation of cost-effective health technologies and models of care. A core aim of the framework is to optimise patient outcomes through the delivery of value-based healthcare. A core principle on which the framework is based is to use evaluation of both effect and value to determine whether technologies and models of care should be allowed to enter or remain in the health system.
Improving end of life care for people has been identified as a priority area in the NSW Regional Health Partners Strategic Plan.
We have written a white paper to inform work on improving care at the end of life – it summarises relevant research, local and state initiatives and staff and consumer survey responses – their views on current gaps and possible service and research solutions.
All states have policies requiring the weekly provision of planned physical activity for school students but less than 20% of schools implement such policies. This project aims to support the implementation of physical activity policies. It aims to overcome barriers to the implementation of the mandatory NSW Physical Activity policy. 100 primary schools across three Local Health Districts will be recruited and receive an implementation support package. By working to increase the exercise levels of primary school children, this project has the potential to impact upon children’s health, mental health and wellbeing, now and into the future.
This project aims to increase the use of evidence-based government services by delivering health information and referral direct to parents. Primary schools will participate in an electronic messaging program. Messages will be delivered to parents via an app. informing parents of existing free government services, encouraging participation in programs and providing links to enrolment pages.
Consumption of Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) such as soft drinks, cordial and sports’ drinks has been associated with weight gain obesity, diabetes. Thirsty? Choose water project enables students to refill their water bottles, with easy and free access to chilled water at school, combined with education and promotion of the benefits of drinking water in class. Regional schools will receive either one of three interventions including chilled water stations and health information.
Over recent decades, the rates of overweight and obesity have risen dramatically in Australia. Fortunately overweight and obesity are preventable, as are their comorbidities. In addition to innovative and robust research, there are numerous programs and services that play a valuable role in obesity prevention and treatment within the NSWRHP area.
A guideline will be developed based on assessment of four key strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life to assist healthcare professionals in communicating and working with Aboriginal families and children towards positive outcomes for their communities. It is anticipated that this project will lead to an increased awareness of culturally safe healthcare for Aboriginal patients. There will also be increased partnership between health professionals and Aboriginal children and their families, particularly around communication and decision making.
Immunisation is a safe and effective way to prevent serious childhood disease. In this project a Tailored Immunisation Program will be developed and concurrently implemented in four communities. Pockets of low childhood immunisation coverage will be identified, underlying reasons explored and mitigating health service delivery strategies identified. These are likely to include primary care or community health-related immunisation settings where new collaborations or improvements to service effectiveness could be made. It is envisaged that implementation of TIP will increase vaccination rates, thereby preventing serious childhood disease and strengthening community resilience.
Patients in Australian rural and regional areas have had limited opportunity to receive ECR, as until recently, it was only believed to be effective if undertaken within 6 hours of onset of stroke symptoms, and it is only performed in major centres. A telehealth system will allow accurate identification and transfer of all patients in Northern NSW who are eligible for endovascular clot removal (ECR), and provide neurologist support to rural centres, fast tracking treatments. The service will provide neurologist videoconferencing and advanced CT imaging-supported stroke treatment in seven rural hospitals.