Commissioning services to fill healthcare gaps
Commissioning is the strategic, evidence-based approach to planning and purchasing services. The commissioning process uses available, limited resources to co-design, co-deliver and actively manage services.
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are funded to undertake activities and commission services to address the prioritised primary health care needs of their communities.
Commissioned services aim to improve efficiency, effectiveness and coordination of care. PHNs achieve this by commissioning services and developing collaborative relationships with external providers.
In South Western Sydney, we commission services to address gaps in:
- Mental health
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
- Integrated health: diabetes, hepatitis C, antenatal shared care and palliative care services
- Providing access to after-hours GP care services
- Cancer screening
Why commissioned healthcare service providers choose to work with PHNs
Medical and healthcare providers supported by PHNs have a better understanding of local health needs. Collaboration creates an opportunity to share ideas with local health providers.
Service providers should be open to new and innovative ways of funding, delivering and monitoring services. Read the below article from the Department of Health for details.
PHN Funding Agreements (PDF | 610kb | health.gov.au)
PHN Grant Programme Guidelines (Word | 533kb | health.gov.au)
SWSPHN identifies gaps within the community using community, clinician and service provider feedback, national and state surveys, and detailed data analysis. We then facilitate local solutions that reflect the region’s priority areas.
SWSPHN Strategic Research Framework (PDF | 10 pages | 663kb)
Federal and state levels of government provide funding to assist with the implementation of solutions that address the priority health concerns of the South Western Sydney population.
Co-design and collaboration
Successfully embedding a commissioning approach takes time as PHNs and providers continue to develop their relationships and how they work together. Similarly, new ways of working will require new skills and capabilities from all involved.
Co-design gives engaged service providers and users a voice in the development of the service.
Knowledge and information sharing
Depending on the requirements of a commissioned service, SWSPHN may provide access to software systems that streamline processes to make informed business decisions.
Inclusion in the regional referral portal, HealthPathways
Procured services are included in the HealthPathways directory when relevant. HealthPathways is designed for health professionals working in South Western Sydney.
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation = reduced risk
The monitoring and evaluation phase of the commissioning framework is used to assess the effectiveness and value of the commissioned service while providing ongoing support.
Once contracted, a PHN commissioning contract officer will work with you to monitor and evaluate your progress and impact and provide performance support where needed.
SWSPHN welcomes opportunities to work with service providers who share our goal of improved health for people living in South Western Sydney. We look for opportunities to work with a variety of organisations, including:
- Suitable community-based organisations
- Government organisations
- Community managed organisations and
- Non-government organisations