Western Victoria PHN’s Supporting People with Intellectual Disability to Access Health or SPIDAH Project aims to improve how primary health care services are delivered to meet the needs of people with an intellectual disability.


Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) is one of four primary health networks selected by the Commonwealth Government to develop and pilot local models to contribute to the Primary Care Enhancement Program (PCEP). The local models will be evaluated and successful parts will form the national PCEP with a view for the Commonwealth Government to roll out across Australia.

The program is part of a National roadmap for improving the health of Australians with intellectual disability

The PCEP will be formed by mid-2024 to give people with an intellectual disability better access to appropriate, quality primary health services that meet their needs. The work is being undertaken in collaboration with the Council for Intellectual Disability.

WVPHN has launched the SPIDAH Project to support our work in developing the PCEP. The project will involve working with the community and primary health care providers including:

  • People with a lived experience of intellectual disability as well as their families and carers
  • Disability workers, service providers and advocates
  • General practitioners, practice nurses and nurse practitioners
  • Practice staff
  • Allied health professionals
  • Mental health professionals
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists

By working with all involved in delivering and receiving primary health services, we aim to improve our understanding our how we and health care providers can better tailor and target those services for local needs.

Community involvement

WVPHN is providing opportunities for community members and health professionals to share their stories and work with us to create a framework for the future.

In 2021, we commenced this process with a series of surveys to gather information on what is working well, what is challenging or difficult and what are the gaps as well as ideas on how to improve access to primary health care services for people with an intellectual disability.

SPIDAH Project Report

The SPIDAH Project Report provides an overview of the key themes and what we have learnt from 1 July 2021 – 16 December 2021 during our co-design learn phase of the project.

We heard from people with lived experience of an intellectual disability, family, carers, community members, disability service providers, health professionals and others about their experiences, thoughts and ideas about the primary health care system in western Victoria for people with an intellectual disability.

The report was launched on Thursday 5 May, 2022 and will help guide the next steps and future directions of the SPIDAH Project to deliver better health outcomes for people with an intellectual disability in our region.

View the SPIDAH Project Report 

View the SPIDAH Project Report (Easy read version)

More information

Contact the WVPHN SPIDAH project team:

Intellectual disability health care resources

For further information about intellectual disability and intellectual disability health care resources, please visit WVPHN’s People with an Intellectual Disability webpage.

Last modified: 17 May, 2022

Introduction to the SPIDAH Project

Official Launch of the SPIDAH Foundational Project Report

Easy Read Downloads

Easy read information about the SPIDAH project (PDF 887KB)