CEO Primary Matters – 21 September 2022

Commissioned Services Re-design – AOD & Mental Health  

WVPHN has embarked on a Place-based Commissioning Strategy to enhance care models to improve patient experience and outcomes, which includes the re-design of commissioned services across Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).

What do we mean by Placed-based Commissioning? This involves extensive consultation with health providers, community members and people with lived experience to identify gaps in current services we commission and to develop models of care that patient-centre.

The current Mental Health and AOD tender has drawn on this commissioning approach and focuses on blended models of care delivered through partnerships. Find out more about the tender here.

The comprehensive service re-design process has involved several steps including:

  • Scan of key evaluations, literature and policy documents
  • Co-design with stakeholders and health consumers
  • Market sounding (consultations) with current and new service providers

The next stages will include:

  • Release of the Request For Proposal (RFP)
  • Industry briefing sessions
  • Tender evaluation and contract negotiation/execution

An evaluation of the blended AOD and Mental Health model will be commissioned in early 2023.

Dementia Action Week

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), which is part of Dementia Action Week running until Sunday, 25 September.

According to Dementia Australia, Dementia impacts close to half a million Australians and almost 1.6 million Australians are involved in their care. The number of people living with dementia is set to double in the next 25 years.

Supported by Dementia Australia, Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) is currently in the process of consulting with consumers, carers and health professionals to update clinical and referral pathways on Western Victoria HealthPathways. New and updated pathways will be published by the end of 2022.

During the project, WVPHN has held a local clinical consultation group comprising of GPs, geriatricians, nurses and representatives from the four Cognitive, Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) clinics in western Victoria to hear about barriers and opportunities to good primary care of people before, during and after diagnosis of dementia.

The group also discussed ideas for increasing skills, knowledge and confidence of GPs and other primary health professionals in providing care to people with dementia.

WVPHN has also undertaken a consumer and carer survey to hear from people with lived experience of dementia about their experiences with their GP.

A new resource for consumers and carers is also in development, highlighting services and supports available locally (in addition to the fantastic support provided by organisations like Dementia Australia) to help people navigate their journey through diagnosis and beyond. This resource will be available in the coming months and will be promoted to GPs to share with patients. Any suggestions about local services and supports to be included in this resource is welcome, please email:

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month & Men’s Health

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia claiming the lives of about 10 men each day.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is raising awareness through The Long Run, supporting all men and families impacted by prostate cancer. Find out more here.

Men’s Health is an important topic and primary care has an important role in driving better health outcomes for our local men and boys. A reminder for health professionals to please visit HealthPathways for resources on Prostate Cancer and Mental Health.

I also encourage health professionals to head over to the Healthy Male website, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, for further information on men’s health topics and resources.

Rowena Clift,

Chief Executive Officer

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