From the Executive Officer’s Desk: November 2019

Since the last e-bulletin there have been some changes in the funding environment for PCPs, resulting in funding being extended from December to June 2020.(Media release_Victorian Primary Care Partnerships) This is a welcome relief, however the sector is maintaining its advocacy given that uncertainty remains. PCP funding body, the Department of Health and Human Services, have commissioned consultants KPMG to do a review of what PCPs are providing over the next few months, and we are expecting a survey to arrive shortly, for us to distribute to partners requesting feedback. We understand that the review will also cover such things as document reviews, financial analysis, targeted consultations with key organisations selected, and another survey specifically distributed to Community Health Service CEOs. Additionally there will be a deeper dive into some selected PCPs to examine how a rural, regional, outer growth and metro setting PCP operates and fits in with the local service system. Whilst the review aims to capture the current operating environment of PCPs, there will be some open ended questions in the surveys around what the PCP platform should look like into the future.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank partners for your strong advocacy, including meeting directly with MPs, and it was heart-warming to receive so many emails expressing gratitude about the extension:

  • That’s fantastic news. Congratulations. The review will demonstrate what a pivotal service you play. Looking forward to working with you in the future
  • Great news. Let’s hope the review realises the value of our PCPs
  • That’s great news. Not as long term a decision as would have been ideal but think it means they heard that we were not happy, and will now be paying some attention to the work of PCPs which I believe is a good thing!
  • Well done Tracey!!! If we can help advocate over the next 12 months the please let me know
  • As someone who has learnt so much from PCPs, especially IEPCP and OEPCP, wanted to let you know that I too had sent in a submission promoting PCPs. I am pleased to learn that funding is secure for another year at least
  • Fantastic news! Let us know what we can do when the review comes around.

I also want to acknowledge the personal support partners have provided to myself and our staff over recent months in recognition of the personal toll job insecurity creates, and to also thank the staff for strong teamwork and commitment to deliver high quality service to partners notwithstanding.

Amidst the advocacy, information dissemination to partners, and internal risk management, I managed to get to three of our partner’s AGMs: Family Access Network, Women’s Health East, and Eastern Volunteers. I really enjoy AGMs – apart from always being uplifted by inspiring keynote speakers, it is also a great way to hear about the full range of activity occurring in the region, and I never fail to be amazed by the extent of great work, and positive impacts to health and wellbeing, from grassroots interventions, to collaboration across partnerships. I am very proud to be a part of these across the East.

I would like to formally acknowledge the leaders and practitioners contributing to the Inner East Integrated Health Promotion Plan, under which the IEPCP contributes backbone support, for all the developmental work behind the 2019-2020 Action Plan for the priorities of Social Inclusion, and PVAW-Gender Equity. It truly was a team effort which has delivered an exceptional document reflecting the depth of integration and commitment to work across four local government areas, three community health services (AccessHC, Carrington Health, and Link HC) and Women’s Health, for the best outcomes in communities.

As part of our role to build capacity of the health promotion workforce under the Action Plan, IEPCP hosted a co design workshop on Wednesday 30 October facilitated by Meg Henderson of our neighbouring PCP North East Healthy Communities. The workshop was aimed at strengthening the practical skills, confidence and capacity of our partners to use co design techniques in their work with consumers and communities. The focus was to stimulate a regional culture and mindset for co design and to question power dynamics between staff and community. The workshop was well attended by professional staff from community health, local government, Women’s Health East, Whitehorse Manningham Libraries and Eastern Volunteers.

In other news, the IEPCP is also leading work on Obesity Prevention in partnership with OEPCP and Health Futures Australia. This month we hosted the first East Region Leadership Design Lab, collaborating with leaders from across sectors, to start identifying strategic opportunities to get leverage and work on impacting the obesogenic environment.

I have also enjoyed contributing to a planning session to develop the strategic plan for the Regional Family Violence Partnership, refining the priorities and determining the most effective actions that partners could collectively contribute to making an impact on. Once again, the many sectors represented created a dynamic planning atmosphere.

The PCP are also looking forward to participating in the 2019 16 Days of Activism campaign in November. We encourage all our partners to plan for this campaign, #TotesGE, using resources provided by Women’s Health East on their website.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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