Sydney Health Community Network

SHCN vision - Healthy people, vibrant communities

Welcome to the new member organisations of Sydney Health Community Network. Membership of SHCN facilitates information sharing between CESPHN and the community organisations that support the health of people who live or work in the region. Advocacy for community primary health care needs is the priority focus for SHCN. The cool winter months have seen SHCN Directors working on a draft strategic plan, including how best to advocate for the multiple needs of our diverse communities, how to boost membership, and gain financial sustainability.

The work of the PHN is addressed elsewhere in this newsletter, on the CESPHN website and in Sydney Health Issue, so I would like to focus on four items that may be of interest to you.

The Role of the Health System in Reducing Health Inequity Forum

On 29 June 2016 the University of NSW facilitated The Role of the Health System in Reducing Health Inequity Forum. It is clearly recognised there is a growing gap between the life expectancy of people who are advantaged versus people who are least advantaged in NSW. The forum provided discussion with international speakers, researchers, health professionals and service providers considering the inequity in health care and ways to address this inequity. Two programs from the region, Sydney Local Health District Hospital in the Home and Can Get Health in Canterbury provided information on ways to overcome systemic inequalities. A report on the forum and a report prepared by Croakey are available here. The presentations on the day are available on the UNSW website.

Co-Design: Putting Consumers and Carers at the Centre of Mental Health Reform

The Co-Design Initiative is a voluntary project led by consumers and carers and auspiced by Civil Society Australia. It is a response to planned review and reforms for the mental health system. Workshops on co-design were held in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year. The Co-Design Shared Perspectives on Authentic Co-design report provides a framework for the implementation of co-design projects in mental health, and an introduction to the principles and practices of co-design. The report aims to help groups and organisations to adopt a co-design approach in all aspects of mental health service redesign from the system level to service provision and daily practice.

Putting the consumer first: Creating a consumer-centred health system for a 21st century Australia

It was good to see the recently released joint report by The George Institute for Global Health, and Consumers Health Forum of Australia - Putting the consumer first: Creating a consumer-centred health system for a 21st century Australia, A health policy report April 2016. There are eight key recommendations focusing on the empowerment and involvement of consumers, change management, education, and innovation. The report can be found here.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS Ready Webpage and Toolkit are now available. NDIS Ready is a community awareness-raising project aimed at preparing people with disability, their families and carers, service providers and the community to understand the NDIS. The webpage contains information and a range of new NDIS resources and videos, including the NDIS Ready Communications Toolkit. The toolkit provides individuals, service providers and community organisations with communication materials that can disseminate information about the NDIS.

Annual General Meeting

The SHCN Annual General Meeting will be held in November 2016, on a date yet to be determined. Please consider becoming actively involved in SHCN and the primary health care of the region by nominating yourself or another person to become a Director of SHCN.

Take good care of yourself and each other.

Julie Millard, Chair SHCN