Health needs considered

SA HEALTH: Flinders and Upper North LHN Board Chair Bevan Francis and Flinders and Upper North LHN CEO Ros McRae. Photo: supplied.
SA HEALTH: Flinders and Upper North LHN Board Chair Bevan Francis and Flinders and Upper North LHN CEO Ros McRae. Photo: supplied.

A microscope has been placed over the health needs of the Whyalla and Port Augusta communities with a new push to improve service outcomes.

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network is taking a closer look at local services provided now and into the future.

Chief Executive Officer of Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Ros McRae said the service planning project will identify key service design opportunities for the Whyalla and Port Augusta hospitals as well as the services provided to the community.

"The Service Planning project began with the formation of a local Service Planning Steering Group, which includes members from the Health Advisory Council, doctors, nurses, allied health staff, external health providers and local leadership," Ms McRae said.

"The clinician focus groups have been very positive, with lots of great ideas and discussions about the future direction of health services in Port Augusta and Whyalla, and I would like to thank our local clinicians for their commitment and involvement in the process.

"This engagement comes at an opportune time for the region, with Flinders and Upper North becoming its own Local Health Network (LHN) led by a Governing Board and its Chair, Bevan Francis.

"Through the new governance arrangements, we are giving regional health services the ability to engage and make decisions closer to where care is provided."

Executive Director of Medical Services for Flinders and Upper North Dr Nes Lian-Lloyd said the clinician focus groups were well attended with over 100 clinicians already engaging in the process.

"Clinicians have been involved in discussions about many services such as Emergency, Surgical, Mental Health, Obstetrics and Aboriginal Health," Dr Lian-Lloyd said.

"This is an exciting opportunity for clinicians to contribute towards the development of the local Service Plan, and to be involved in the design of our health care services."

The next step in the Service Planning process will focus on community engagement, with the Whyalla and Port Augusta Health Advisory Council (HAC), in partnership with Flinders and Upper North LHN, engaging with the community during the months of July and August.

"This community information will be extremely important in developing the draft service plan later in the year," Ms McRae said.

"It will provide us with a road map for improving the delivery of health services in the future."