New funding to evaluate local health care alliances in NSW

New funding to evaluate local health care alliances in NSW

Professor David Peiris from The George Institute for Global Health and UNSW has received $956,000 in NHMRC Partnership funding for a project that aims to strengthen health system performance in NSW.

“Widening inequities, large variations in the quality of care, and uncontrolled growth in health care spending - which now represents more than ten percent of GDP – are threatening the sustainability of Australia’s healthcare system and ultimately the nation’s prosperity” Professor Peiris said. 

“This project involves an exciting NSW policy reform program, Collaborative Commissioning, which will support formation of local alliances between Local Hospital Districts and Primary Health Networks.  These alliances, Patient Centred Co-commissioning Groups (PCCGs), will be tasked with developing new ways of working to achieve better patient outcomes more efficiently,” he added.

Several PCCGs are in the process of being established with a goal of having state-wide coverage in all ten NSW Primary Health Network regions. Populations to be serviced are diverse. For example, Western Sydney is focusing on community-based services for people with urgent care needs who would otherwise use the emergency department alongside providing services for cardiology patients in the community. Western NSW is focussing on improving quality and access to care for people with diabetes at high risk of complications. North Sydney is focussing a strategy to support elderly people with complex urgent health needs.

The project is a partnership between the New South Wales Ministry of Health (NSW Health), Local Hospital Districts (LHDs), Primary Health Networks (PHNs), the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) and health service researchers from The George Institute, UNSW’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health and the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney.