Year in Review - Country

A key focus for Country Services WA during 2012/13 has been getting “our core” right through the implementation of the “Country New Model”. This transformation involves a root-to-branch change to the operation of the Business Unit on a scale not seen in our 107-year history.  Every element of the operation is being reviewed and reshaped, including culture, organisation design, service delivery models, technology deployment and physical infrastructure, as well as people structure.  When the transformation is completed in 2014, we will have contributed to improved access, outcomes and service alignment – ultimately leading to improved community health and well-being across rural Western Australia. 

While we have been focussing much on our internal transformation we have also fostered our strong partnerships to allow us to grow as well as pilot innovative programs to ensure a sustainable future of a health and community care system across regional, rural and remote WA.

These include:

  • In partnership with WA Country Health Services (WACHS) through funding from the Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI) via Royalties for Regions, we have implemented Primary Health Nurse Practitioners across the Wheatbelt. These Nurse Practitioners collaborate and work alongside both private and public providers in the Wheatbelt to enhance health services in areas with less doctors. The program is successful and one of our Nurse Practitioners was recognised for her work in the 2012 WA Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Awards. 
  • In partnership with the Wirraka Maya Health Service in the Pilbara we continue to develop a sustainable model for diabetes, one of the most prevalent chronic diseases across country WA. Through Telehealth, the model builds on the services already available in the region to make them sustainable into the future.

During the year we received funding from the Department of Health and Ageing as part of consortium involving Silver Chain, Illawarra Retirement Trust Ltd (IRT), Accenture, the Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) and the Aged Care Industry IT Council (ACIITC). This pilot program demonstrates how the high speed broadband provided through the National Broadband Network (NBN) will enable better access to health services to homes within NBN sites through Telehealth services. Our initial target in Geraldton is 120 clients with a chronic condition to take part in our Telehealth monitoring program.

Our presence has grown, both in terms of our client numbers, service offerings and locations where we provide services. Looking forward, we will work closely with individual communities to determine their health needs, recognising that each requires different services – dependant on the geographical, social, economic and cultural contexts of that community.

In these ways, we believe Silver Chain Country Services is well-positioned to contribute to a more effective and efficient system for managing health and ageing across rural and remote parts of Western Australia, increasing the access to services and allowing people to remain living in their community. 

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