SEMPHN commissions services to address the After Hours health needs of our community.
SEMPHN’s After Hours (AH) commissioning activities are guided by the Commonwealth Government’s AH objectives, which are to:
- increase the efficiency and effectiveness of AH primary care for patients, particularly those with limited access to health services; and
- improve access to AH primary care through effective planning, co-ordination and support for population based after-hours primary care.
In commissioning AH services for the South Eastern Melbourne catchment, SEMPHN is seeking:
- improved access to AH care
- improved continuity, integration and coordination of care
- better quality care
- improved sector capacity and empowerment
- improved community health literacy and patient ‘activation’
- improved health outcomes for vulnerable groups.
Current and upcoming commissioning opportunities
An After-Hours Needs Assessment
In October 2016, SEMPHN circulated a Request for Proposal via Tenderlink to appoint a consultant to undertake a needs assessment.
The Needs Assessment guides SEMPHN’s AH strategy to better support the implementation of integrated, capacity-building models to better respond to the AH primary health needs of people in the South Eastern Melbourne region.
The AH Needs Assessment will build on SEMPHN’s existence of knowledge of AH care by:
- undertaking a detailed needs analysis and service mapping
- developing strategies to support capacity building in the primary health care and related non-health sectors to address the needs of people who are or at risk, particularly in geographical hot spots; and
- recommending evidence based strategies to improve access to primary health care services in order to achieve optimum health management and positively influence health outcomes.
The results of the needs assessment, and the emerging strategic plan, will guide SEMPHN’s AH commissioning activities for the next three years.
Commissioning opportunities awarded
After-hours grants – first round
The following organisations were successful in receiving funding from the first round of After-Hours Grants. The grants were for between $30,000 and $100,000. Total funding allocated to the five projects was in the order of $450,000.
Atticus Health, Carrum
An after hours home-visiting service called Mobile Emergency Department On-Call (MEDOC) with facilities and equipment to treat more complex patients.
Berwick Healthcare, Berwick
A partnership with Casey Hospital that will reduce demand on the emergency department during the after-hours period. This project is aimed at educating patients and the community, and building an alliance with other practices within close proximity to deliver high quality primary care during the after-hours period.
RDNS Homecare, SEMPHN-wide initiative
The RDNS will work with targeted residential aged care facilities to build the health literacy of staff, particularly as this relates to accessing primary care services during the after-hours period. Ultimately, this project will support RACF staff to make more informed decisions relating to accessing primary care during the after-hours period.
National Home Doctors Service, SEMPHN-wide initiative
This project will involve a Town Hall Health Literacy education program, focusing on maternal and paediatric health. This project is designed to support parents of young children to better understand and engage with urgent care responses for their children, with the intention of reducing presentations of this cohort to emergency departments during the after-hours period.
Inner South Community Health Service, South Melbourne
A Medical Home project that aims to improve health outcomes in the after-hours period through a range of measures, including: greater clinician availability; ongoing coordination of in-hours care; and, an increase of patient health literacy relating to primary care options during the after-hours period.
After-hours grants – second round
In September 2016, SEMPHN offered grants from $30,000 to $100,000 to primary health organisations to support innovative solutions to address AH needs in the region and reduce primary care-type presentations in emergency departments.
The following organisations were successful in receiving funding from the second round of After-Hours Grants.
Genesis Medical Centre
Genesis Medical Centre Will develop and implement a psychological education and health literacy program for people living with drug addiction and their families.
First Health Medical Centre – Hampton Park Medical Centre
Proposes a Holistic Family Care Service Program in recognition that a number of their patients are not responding to care plans and are likely to present to ED. The program will:
- enable families to make appointments to see nursing staff in the after hours period to facilitate tests and assessments
- involve family members to encourage and support each other’s health at a personal level
- give patients the opportunity to participate in monthly talks, family nights and group activities
All activities aim to enable patients to work more closely with health providers and specialists.
Hero Head Quarters
In recognition that a large majority of primary care-type visits are attributed to the 0-4 age group, this activity will aim to improve the health literacy among parents and caregivers of children in this age bracket. The activity involves training to empower parents and caregivers in the region to:
- educate parents with self-triage skills and take appropriate action depending on the child’s conditions;
- build knowledge of AH services in the community; and
- build their skills and confidence.
South East Palliative Care
This project will develop and launch a Carer Support Kit into the SEMPHN community to support clients at home particularly during the AH period when access to health services is limited.
After-hours grants - third round
Seven general practices in the Local Government Areas of Kingston, Cardinia and Frankston were successful in obtaining after hours grant funding from July 2017 to June 2018. This grant enables them to extend their opening times by at least 12 hours each week outside business hours, with at least two hours being on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
The seven successful practices are:
- Bunyip Medical Clinic
- Carrum Downs Doctors
- Edithvale Family Medical Practice
- Officer Medical Centre
- Pakenham Family Health
- Seaford Beach Family Clinic
- Total Care Medical Management (Frankston).
The funding will support these practices to extend their opening hours; including marketing and promotion activities, practice nurse and administration costs, additional GP costs (time limited) and recruitment/retention of registrars and overseas-trained doctors.
After-hours grants – fourth round
In October 2017, SEMPHN offered grants to General Practices in Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento, Dromana, McCrae, Red Hill and Balnarring to expand their face-to-face After Hours services during the following peak periods:
- 01 December 2017 to 02 February 2018 (approximately 9 weeks in total (64 days)
- 30 March 2018 to 21 April 2018 (approximately 3 weeks in total (23 days)
Grants totalling $133,000 were awarded to Beachside Doctors (Dromana), Banksia Wood Medical Centre (Rosebud) and Peninsula Holistic (Rosebud) following an open tender process.
These General Practices will be open an extra eight hours or more during the sociable and unsociable After Hours period with at least four hours on public holidays that fall within the periods above (Except Christmas and Good Friday).
The funding was available for:
- Marketing or promotional activities to enhance community awareness of after hours services (e.g. signage, brochures, advertising),
- AH operational and/or security costs,
- Staff costs for a nurse and/or administration,
- Short term staff costs associated with General Practitioner support as patient numbers build (time-limited); and,
- Recruitment of general practitioner(s) and/or miscellaneous GP incentives aimed at retention or supervision of registrars/overseas-trained doctors.
These grants are the fourth round of SEMPHN’s after-hours funding, and are in response to the established need to increase effective, affordable and accessible face–to-face after hours general practice services in parts of the Mornington Peninsula particularly in peak time periods.
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South Eastern Melbourne PHN acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. We pay respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
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