As part of its reform-ready agenda, Merri Community Health Services (MCHS) identified workforce and service model redesign as critical elements in delivering better outcomes for clients. In an increasingly complex environment, providing advanced practice roles in community health improves the ability to offer innovative services to more complex clients, to increase referral by the acute sector and general practitioners to community health, and also to create a clinical career structure to improve workforce satisfaction and retention. As a result, MCHS and Melbourne Health partnered to develop solutions to the sub-optimal management of low back pain for clients in their shared catchment area, setting up services in the community for the assessment and management of back pain, by developing their respective workforce capability. The partnership was an ideal platform to combine tackling each of the identified problems in the individual organisations to maximise impact.
Inner North West Melbourne Health Collaborative: Early Implementation Evaluation
An evaluation of the Inner North West Melbourne Health Collaborative (now known as The Collaborative) was commissioned from the Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing, Latrobe University. The evaluation involved data collection using a variety of methods and at different time points from 2013 to 2015.
The evaluation found that there was strong support for The Collaborative from multiple stakeholders, high levels of trust amongst partner organisations at the governance level and a stronger culture of collaboration amongst those engaged in projects auspiced by The Collaborative. Evaluation findings also indicated that the early implementation phase has been extremely successful and that The Collaborative is in a strong position to continue its work, to expand its reach and influence across the health care continuum to improve patient care, outcomes and pathways for the shared communities.
Coordinated Community Care for Diabetes (CCC4D) Project
This project was established as a Collaborative flagship project in 2013 and concluded in 2015. The project aimed to improve the journey and outcome for patients with type 2 diabetes across the acute and primary care interface. Key achievements from the project included the development of a number of pathways to improve access to clinical and referral guidelines and to support coordination of care across settings. The final report includes a number recommendations including the need to strengthen systems to support chronic disease prevention and management and to increase workforce capacity across the sector to manage chronic conditions.