Our stakeholder engagement survey

Our stakeholder engagement survey

23 April, 2019

In 2018-19, Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) sought feedback from stakeholders on how we can better support primary care practitioners, and opportunities for capacity building and integration across primary healthcare services in our community. 

Thank you to the 440 general practice staff (GPs, practice managers and practice nurses) and 226 allied health providers who responded to our second survey. 

Findings are benchmarked against EMPHN’s first Stakeholder Engagement Survey conducted in 2017-18 and other PHNs Australia-wide. 

We have begun actioning these recommendations and the feedback is informing EMPHN’s strategy. 

1. We heard the support we provide to general practice and allied health is improving. 

Providing general practices with a range of opportunities to work with us has improved performance by 2% on the previous year, and satisfaction with our practice support is 2% higher (57% rated support high or very high) than the benchmark comparison to other PHNs (55%).  

Practice Managers report the highest level of satisfaction with EMPHN’s support (74% respondents rated our support high or very high). 

EMPHN’s overall performance among allied health providers improved 5% on the previous survey 

What does this mean? 

Recent initiatives to improve general practice performance and skills, such as developing future-ready practices under Practice 2030, quality improvement, integrated patient centred care for nurses and e-Referral, among others, are working. We will continue to empower general practices to meet your goals and adapt to changes.  

We will continue to work on how we best communicate and engage with general practitioners in the work we do to increase understanding of wider work occurring in the sector and opportunities for collaboration. 

We are developing a General Practice Engagement Plan to provide a range of program offerings to suit different types of practice needs and capacity, from the basic to more intensive. These programs will be designed to help build practice capability and foster continuous improvement over the coming years.  

2. We heard change can be challenging. 

Taking into consideration changes in the mental health sector implemented during the past 18 months, allied health rated EMPHN’s support quite highly (39% rated high or very high in 2018-19, compared to 36% in 2017-18).  

There was low awareness and uptake of EMPHN funded mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) services.  

There is interest from providers to build their capacity to manage people presenting with mental health and AOD issues.  

What does this mean? 

We need to improve understanding and awareness of EMPHN funded mental health and AOD services, and communicate effectively and more frequently about ongoing reform in these sectors to ensure health professionals are able to link people into services 

We will support general practitioners, other general practice staff and allied health providers to build their capacity to support people with mental health and AOD issues through continuing professional development (CPD) and other education events, and commissioning services such as the Psychiatric Advice and Consultation Service and AOD@theGP

We will continue to develop clear navigation pathways for GPs and other health providers to assist people to access mental health and AOD services when they need them. This includes single navigation access points such as our Mental Health Referral and Access Team, updated HealthPathways for mental health and AOD, and simple reference material. 

3. We heard you still aren’t clear on what we do and our commissioning role. 

We recognise the commissioning role PHNs are undertaking is still a relatively new concept for our stakeholders. We want to develop the market’s capacity (service sector) to take advantage of the funding opportunities we can offer through commissioning and to work with us to ensure services are delivered where and to whom they are needed most. 

What does this mean? 

We will provide opportunities to learn how to work with us such as further commissioning workshops for general practice, and mental health and AOD providers.  We are working hard to simplify our commissioning activities to make them more accessible and appropriate, given the diverse range of providers in our catchment.  

4. We heard you want to know what we can do for you and who to contact. 

We provide a range of supports, fund a range of services and undertake many initiatives. We understand, especially as busy professionals, it can be difficult to stay across all the things we can offer.   

What does this mean? 

We will target our communications to you via a range of channels because we know people have different communication preferences and often need to hear things a few times for it to sink in. 

We have improved communication via our website with the single phone line and email address general practice can use to contact the PHN. 

Our Mental Health Referral and Access team is a single point of contact to support consumers and providers with referrals and service navigation.  

We have initiatives that support service delivery such as our Psychiatric Advice and Consultation Service

5. We heard you want us to inform you on local needs. 

EMPHN develops a comprehensive Needs Assessment published on our website and has great insight into the needs of the people in our catchment. We have continually improved the format of our Needs Assessment to capture key highlights and insights. We could do better to communicate findings from our Needs Assessment and other research and analysis so it better informs service delivery and planning. 

What does this mean? 

Rather than provide all the information at once, which can be overwhelming, we will summarise a key area of our Needs Assessment in upcoming editions of our eNewsletter News from EMPHN. We will also provide findings to those that indicated they would be interested in being involved in future consultation or co-design opportunities on relevant topics.  

6. We heard GP/allied health provider referral effectiveness continues to need support to improve people's healthcare journey quality. 

Allied health providers said 49% of the time they provide a complete report with all relevant information when a GP has referred a patient to them. However, only 16% of general practice say they receive this when they have referred a patient to an allied health provider.  

There was also a significant difference in how often allied health providers say they provide information on recommended changes for care plans and information that is timely and available when needed, in comparison to what GPs say they receive.    

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