Central Hume PCP collaborates with local partners and other organisations to facilitate and support projects. These projects produce toolkits and other resources, in addition to knowledge exchange and improved opportunities.
Central Hume Pharmacy Project
One in two Australians now have a chronic disease and one in four have at least two chronic health diseases.
In Central Hume: diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions (COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma) are the high prevalence diseases.
Local community pharmacies and pharmacists are the first point of call for clients, the health professional who sees clients most frequently (at least once a month to fill prescriptions for regular medications) and are a free consultation service. Pharmacists can contribute to monitoring of clients in between GP and specialist appointments, and should be seen as part of the whole primary health care team.
There is anecdotal evidence that service providers and communities in the Central Hume catchment, under-utilise pharmacies in primary health care, particularly in relation to chronic conditions due to a poor awareness of their role and scope of practice.
In November 2016, Wangaratta’s Local Aboriginal Network (LAN) known as the Dirrawarra Indigenous Network (DIN), engaged consultants All-iN Productions Pty Ltd to produce a feasibility study for a Gathering Place in Wangaratta.
The project brief was informed by the Dirrawarra Indigenous Network Community Plan 2011- 2016 and is aligned to the Koolin Balit directions for Aboriginal health, and the Victorian Local Aboriginal Networks Five Year Plan (2016-2020).
Specifically, the feasibility study provides the DIN with a roadmap for moving forward in establishing a viable and sustainable Gathering Place in Wangaratta (full Report available).
The project was managed by a Project Steering Group (PSG) which comprised of DIN members; Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service; Rural City of Wangaratta; the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and Training; and other stakeholder representatives, under the auspice of the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership. Eight meetings were held over twelve months, and a consultant was contracted.
The DIN Community Plan 2011-2016 recommended the establishment of a Gathering Place in Wangaratta to provide an accessible, culturally safe and appropriate base from which outreach health services, meetings, functions, and gatherings could occur.
It should be stressed that community members view a Gathering Place as meeting not only primary health needs, but areas that impact the physical, spiritual, cultural, social and emotional well-being of an individual, family and community.
The Consultant presented three governance scenarios at a workshop with the DIN in February 2017 – (i) Auspice (ii) Lead partner (iii) Independent (Gathering Place Incorporated organisation). The DIN’s preferred model was a balance of Scenario 2 & 3 – partnership while building capacity for a community controlled entity and space.
Feasibility study consultations and research concluded that a Gathering Place for Wangaratta is needed, viable, and sustainable. A partnership governance model is advisable, with an initial auspice period for capacity building, while an appropriate space is accessed and adjusted, or built for purpose.
Consultations also refined the vision for use, specific functions and outcomes for the Gathering Place. Existing strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities were identified to inform recommendations going forward.
In 2020 a Coordinator role was advertised for the Wangaratta Gathering Place Project, however was unsuccessful in attracting any applicants.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, advertising ceased.
Readvertising for the position will recommence in March 2021, at which time, working group meetings will resume.
Every day in Australia at least six Australians will die from suicide and a further 30 people will attempt to take their own life. Indigenous Australians experience an overall rate of suicide that is double that of non-Indigenous Australians, with young Aboriginal people being at the highest risk.
Murray PHN have identified suicide prevention as a key priority area and are supporting targeted suicide prevention activities within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Murray PHN funded Central Hume Primary Care Partnership (auspiced by Benalla Health) to develop and implement community based interventions and strengthening activities which support suicide prevention through community consultation.
This project aligns with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy priority areas one and two:
- Building strengths and capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- Building strengths and resilience in individuals and families
To address these two priority areas this project looks at the following two capacity building areas:
- building safety in the community through suicide prevention education;
- building confidence in mental health service pathway through identifying barriers to service.
Rural Women’s Health Needs
Central Hume Primary Care Partnership was funded by the Murray Primary Health Network (PHN) to undertake one of 4 rural women’s health needs projects; this project was to be specifically conducted in the Benalla Local Government Area (LGA), between July and October 2019.
The aim of this project was to determine the health and service needs of women living in the Benalla Municipality, and propose a new service model to address the prioritised need.
Three objectives were established:
- To leverage local relationships with health and community organisations in the Benalla LGA to maximise service system knowledge and engagement strategies.
- To engage with a broad range of women in the Benalla LGA using a place-based approach to identify specific self-reported health needs and the potential service models to meet these needs.
- To propose place-based (service model) solutions that will address the identified health needs of the rural women in the Benalla LGA.
It was anticipated that the evaluation indicators would be a gained understanding of:
- The enablers and barriers for women living in the Benalla LGA to accessing health and wellbeing services;
- the service gaps; and
- the models that would address their health and wellbeing needs.