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Annual Report 2022/23

Building our future

Climate change

In the last 12 months CESPHN has driven the delivery of its Climate Change and Population Health Implementation Plan. Our plan is aspirational and recognises the impact of climate change on population health and commits CESPHN to five key actions to reduce the impact of climate change. A key achievement this year has been the development of a Green Practice Checklist. The checklist is a self-audit tool for general practices and allied health services to conduct an environmental assessment of their workplace. The checklist recognises their green achievements and identifies ways to make their practice more sustainable.

Other PHNs have recognised our leadership in this area and are wanting to adopt the checklist in their region. CESPHN has taken action to raise awareness of the health impacts of climate change. We held a CPD event in May 2023 on this topic which discussed challenges and opportunities for primary care. The event was well attended by GPs, practice nurses and Allied Health Practitioners, who provided positive feedback about the event.

CESPHN also published an article in the November 2022 edition of The Health Advocate – a publication by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association with a readership of 5000-6000 organisations. The theme was Sustainability in the Health Sector. Our article discussed the significant role primary care providers can play in responding to the climate crisis.

This year we introduced expectations for our commissioned service providers to encourage environmental sustainability in the delivery of their services. Standard clauses have been added to the Master Services Agreement (MSA); and criteria added to  Request for Proposal applications for providers to detail their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. Their response is considered by the assessment panel as part of the application scoring criteria.

We are now extending our work in developing local disaster management and workforce strategies. We aim to build the capability of the primary care workforce to effectively respond to disasters and emergencies to ensure our local communities (particularly those most vulnerable) get the medical and social care they need.

“The Green Practice Checklist is a comprehensive and structured audit that helps practices identify and assess how environmentally aware and sustainable they are. I found it quite surprising how much more can be done in general practice to promote sustainability in health. It has given us food for thought and will help with future planning. I definitely feel this is a positive step forward.”

- GP

“Great and very timely to help us work towards getting accredited."

“Without the grant our digital health systems would not have been upgraded."

“A very effectively run program."

CESPHN Multicultural Health Working Group

Led by General Manager Mariam Faraj, this group has been working to improve the cultural responsiveness of CESPHN across all areas of the business. The Group have implemented the Embrace Project which is delivered by Mental Health Australia, in partnership with the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance.

It aims to

  • Increase participation of consumers and carers from multicultural backgrounds in mental health services; 
  • Improve outcomes for multicultural mental health consumers, carers and their families; 
  • Increase mental health awareness, knowledge and capacity in multicultural communities; and 
  • Improve cultural responsiveness and diversity of the mental health workforce. 

Several key initiatives have been progressed including

  • Mental Health Literacy training in multicultural community services across the region.  
  • A Data Collection and Reporting Framework to better assess the reach and equity of access of our commissioned programs to multicultural communities.  
  • Creation of checklist to ensure policies and procedures development is culturally responsive, co-produced and utilise culturally inclusive language.  
  • Promotion of Translation and Interpreting Service (TIS) 

CESPHN Healthy Ageing Strategy 2023-2028

In response to the increasing longevity and rapid growth of the older population we have developed and released the CESPHN Healthy Ageing Strategy 2023-2028. Our vision is to empower older people to lead active and fulfilling lives, enabled by inclusive communities and supported by integrated health and social services.

We will now focus on implementation and help bring this comprehensive Strategy to life. The Strategy and actions emphasise the need for a whole-of-community approach, where we will be working together and in collaboration across sectors and agencies to transform systems, improve services to older people and build age-friendly communities.

Through the four strategic priority areas identified in this document, we aim to assist people to stay healthy, well and independent throughout their lives, ensuring people have access to high quality care and a progressive, sustainable and equitable aged care system. Our goal is to now see this Strategy come to life and improve the health outcomes and lives of older people, and their families within their local communities. 

The actions within the plan are presented under four Strategic Objective Areas:  

  1. Promoting Health and Wellbeing
  2. Reducing Barriers and Improving Access to High Quality Care
  3. Improving Health System Integration
  4. Building Age Inclusive Communities

Our students

Over the last year we have hosted 4 students from the University of Sydney undertaking their Master of Public Health. 

These students successfully completed research reports into  

  • Billing models in general practice 
  • Role of nurses in general practice
  • Development and testing of a green practice checklist for use in primary care
  • Knowledge and educational needs of primary care to support implementation of Voluntary Assisted Dying 

In partnership with the public health Unit of Sydney Local Health District we also provided placement for two Public Health Registrars.