Sustainable Health Review progress

There have been many achievements despite some delays to the SHR activities as a result of the COVID-19 response and system pressures impacts.

Early priorities for implementation outlined in the SHR Final Report have been delivered across the Western Australian health system, setting the foundation to the longer term reform, including:

Strategy 1 - Commit and collaborate to address major public health issues.

  • Funding has been extended to support sustained delivery of the LiveLighter® statewide mass media led healthy lifestyle campaign
  • A Public Health Nutrition Network has been established to provide a forum and support coordinated, comprehensive approaches to obesity policy and programs across the WA Health system.
  • Work has commenced on a ten-year priority plan for obesity prevention, early intervention, and management in WA
  • The mandatory systemwide Healthy Options WA Food and Nutrition Policy for WA health system entities have been strengthened, with metropolitan hospitals quickly adapting to the new requirement to no longer sell sugar sweetened drinks
  • Mental Health Commission’s new Alcohol.Think Again campaign has launched and raises awareness of the risks associated with alcohol use during pregnancy
  • The State Government has completed the phasing out of alcohol advertising and promotion on public transport.
  • Improvements have been made in the Aboriginal workforce with 38 Cadets being recruited into the 2021 Aboriginal Cadetship Program. In addition, 31 candidates have been offered a Nursing and Midwifery position under the GradConnect Program. It is essential to delivering culturally appropriate health services and improving the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes by attracting and retaining Aboriginal people to our workforce.
  • The Climate Health WA Inquiry was released in December 2020, the first statutory inquiry anywhere in the world focused on the health impacts of climate change. The report is a blueprint for the WA health system for the next 10 years to adapt to climate change, better protect the health of the community, and for health services to do more to reduce emissions and waste without compromising the quality of patient care.

Strategy 2 - Improve mental health outcomes.

  • Safe Haven Cafes have successfully opened at Royal Perth and Kununurra Hospitals offering support for those who may otherwise attend emergency departments, but do not need intensive clinical and medical support.
  • A regional model for the mental health co-response program has been developed and will be rolled out to Bunbury and Geraldton. The program partners senior mental health clinicians alongside police in responding to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • The Mental Health Executive Committee and Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Council have been established, leading the development of efficient, sustainable, recovery-focused, consumer-led and integrated mental health AOD system.
  • A new model to manage mental health patient flow between hospitals has been developed and implemented.
  • An annual mental health, alcohol and other drug engagement forum was convened in October 2020, bringing together system partners, including clinicians, consumers, carers, executives and representatives from peak bodies, to discuss how to lead sector reform in Western Australia.

Strategy 3 - Great beginnings and a dignified end of life.

  • The ‘My Baby WA’ app has been launched, providing an app for pregnancy-tracking, birth and baby information. Collaboratively designed, the features, tools and information are applicable to pregnant women and new parents regardless of where they live and how they access healthcare.
  • The historic Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation came into effect on 1 July 2021. Over 30 practitioners have completed the approved training and are able to support people who request Voluntary Assisted Dying. The legislation will give terminally ill people throughout the State the ability to choose the manner and timing of their death.

Strategy 4 - Person-centred, equitable, seamless access.

  • The State’s first Medical Respite Centre has been announced, setting a new benchmark for providing medical care and support services for the homeless. The centre will support individuals to receive post-acute care during their recovery from illness or injury in a safe environment.
  • The Multiple Admissions Report has been developed for use in metropolitan hospitals as an identification tool providing real time access to patient information enabling healthcare providers to engage in conversations with patients around reasons why they may be frequently attending hospital and assist in connecting them to appropriate service.
  • The Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service has expanded to 85 hospitals and nursing posts in country WA. The Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service team of more than 23 doctors and nurses are available to frontline clinicians at the touch of a button and have responded to more than 3500 referrals from country clinicians to support them in the care of mental health patients since the service commenced in July 2019. Of the patients being referred to the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service 87% have been able to receive care closer to home and potentially avoided a transfer out of their home region.
  • WA Country Health Service’s Command Centre has launched, providing rural and remote doctors and nurses with 24/7 access to a dedicated team of clinical specialists.
  • ‘Manage My Care’, the outpatient appointment app, has been launched. The app and web portal support patients to manage their WA Health appointments and referrals online. Patients can be less reliant on receiving posted appointment letters, can access real time outpatient appointment and referral information, and can update their personal details at a time convenient to them.
  • The Home First Model of Care is delivering clinical assessment at home and early discharge for older patients. Early data is demonstrating reduced length of stay and an increase in the number of patients returning to their own home, the program is now fully operational.
  • The WA Transition Care Program (TCP) is expanding the number of community places available; and diversifying to better support Aboriginal people. TCP helps older people get back on their feet after a hospital stay. It provides short-term care for up to 12 weeks, including social work, nursing support, personal care and allied health care.

Strategy 5 - Drive safety, quality and value through transparency, funding and planning.

  • The Statewide Medicines Formulary (Formulary One) has been implemented. Formulary One is a compilation of all medicines and their indications, taking into account their evidence base and cost-effectiveness, which may be initiated in a WA public hospital. This system ensures equity of access to medicines for all patients across WA.

Strategy 6 - Invest in digital healthcare and use data wisely.

  • Planning for the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has commenced. The EMR will improve safety, efficiency and patient experience across the WA health system. It will enable clinicians to view information such as patient notes, assessments, medical histories and diagnostic test results all in one place.

Strategy 7 - Culture and workforce to support new models of care.

  • A pilot of a single integrated workforce system is underway to support workforce planning across WA Health. It will provide necessary workforce data such as payroll, HR, and rostering to enable Health Service Providers to plan and better respond to the changing health needs of the WA community.
  • From July 1, 2020, boards were established for PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA and Health Support Services. These additional boards join the already established health service provider boards to bring uniformity of governance and accountability across the WA health system.

Strategy 8 - Innovate for sustainability.

  • The Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund is now fully operational. The FHRI Fund aims to improve, through research and innovation, the health and prosperity of Western Australians, sustainability of the health system and to advance the State’s standing as a leader in research and innovation. In 2020/2021 11 programs and initiatives were implemented, six of which have concluded selection, awarding nearly $23 million in funding to approximately 200 recipients. It is expected that once selection processes are complete, the other five Programs and Initiatives will result in another approximately $9 million in funding being awarded.

Last reviewed: 10-09-2021