A major focus for Western Victoria Primary Health Network is our annual Needs Assessment. Our Needs Assessment identifies the health needs of our community.

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Using the Needs Assessment, we work in partnership with other health providers to deliver local solutions. We identify health gaps and connect our local medical services to fill those gaps, including delivering our own frontline services.

Community Consultation Grants

To access broader community perceptions of existing health services and needs and inform our service planning, Western Victoria Primary Health Network developed a Community Consultation Grant process. The aim of our Community Consultation Grants was to ensure the perceptions of vulnerable community groups were included in our annual Comprehensive Needs Assessment. The successful applicants for our Community Consultation Grants included, MS Australia, Diversitat, Bellarine Community Health and Otway Health.

These organisations conducted focus groups and forums to collect community feedback on local health priorities and needs, including satisfaction and experiences with their local, primary healthcare system. Health literacy emerged as a major issue for vulnerable populations, as well as limited access to allied health professionals, especially in our rural areas.

The Community Consultation Grants process provided each of the organisations with the opportunity to engage with their community and to inform their own health planning and activities, as well as providing Western Victoria Primary Health Network with information needed to understand health issues experienced across the region by vulnerable populations.