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SNPHN News – Dec ’16

SNPHN News – Dec ’16

GP information about ATAPS program during SNPHN holiday closure

Sydney North Primary Health Network (SNPHN), which administers the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program, will close on Friday 23 December for the holiday break and re-open Tuesday 3 January 2017. The ATAPS telephone referral service will not be answered during the closure period.

If you are a GP wishing to make a non-urgent patient referral to the ATAPS program during the closure period, you may continue to do so and an allocated PIN will be provided to you by SNPHN on 3rd January 2017.

Mental health and crisis services available throughout the holiday season:

  • ATAPS Suicide Support line: 1800 859 585. GPs can register and refer a patient at risk of suicide or self-harm to this 24-hour service. Crisis support is also available to the patient through this service.
  • The NSW Mental Health Access: 1800 011 511. This is a 24-hour telephone support line.

Click here for a list of ATAPS providers, including providers available in December for Suicide Prevention referrals.

Increased ATAPS referrals

There has been an increase in demand for ATAPS referrals and re-referrals over the past few months. Please consider carefully whether another service would be more suited for your patients’ needs.

Click here for a list of other mental health services.

Changes to the ATAPS program

Mental health service delivery is changing across the country with Primary Health Networks set up to commission locally responsive services. This year, SNPHN has consulted with stakeholders and consumers to co-design mental health services for the Northern Sydney region and the first of these services will commence from January 2017.  Inline with these reforms,  The Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program will also undergo change.

Last month, SNPHN called for Request for Proposals for Psychological Services for Underserviced Groups. This new program, which will replace ATAPS in 2017 will provide an opportunity to better shape a service to the individual need of the patient.

As part of the service design, SNPHN, the newly commissioned service(s) and local GPs will have the opportunity to work together to develop effective referral processes to ensure patients have access to the most appropriate service according to their need. Information will then be provided to health providers, and the community on the range of services available including how to access or refer.

The procurement process for this service has now commenced, and SNPHN will announce in early 2017 which organisation(s) will be commissioned.

For enquiries please contact the ATAPS Manager on 9432 8250.

young people sitting around a table working
Commissioning for Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Services

SNPHN is currently in the process of finalising its first round of commissioning for mental health and alcohol & other drugs services. We are approaching the stage of interviewing potential service providers with the expectation that services will commence in early 2017.

In mid-January 2017, SNPHN will be undertaking its next round of commissioning, focusing on services for:

  • Young people with or at risk of severe mental illness
  • Community Suicide Prevention

The SNPHN website will be updated with further details once the Requests for Proposals are released, with services expected to commence in April 2017. SNPHN is looking forward to working with the sector to further develop innovative and high quality mental health services that meet the needs of our region.

To remain updated about future tendering opportunities at SNPHN, please register for free on our eProcurement portal, TenderLink, at https://www.tenderlink.com/snphn/.

After Hours magnets
After Hours magnets now available in Farsi and Tibetan

SNPHN has a higher proportion of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds compared to NSW, with Chinese and Indian the largest CALD groups.

We have recently had our After Hours magnets translated into Farsi and Tibetan. These resources help people find a health service like a GP or chemist when their regular GP is closed.

The magnets are now available in seven different languages:

  • Tibetan
  • Farsi
  • Italian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Korean
  • Japanese

CLICK HERE to access the magnets on the website.
CLICK HERE to order free resources.

SNPHN staff at Family Services Expo
Family Services Expo and Multicultural Disability Services Expo

On 30 November, SNPHN attended two community expos – the Family Services Expo at Hornsby Mall and the Multicultural Disability Services Expo at the Dougherty Centre in Chatswood.

The Family Services Expo (pictured above) allowed people to meet local organisations that provide valuable services to families in the community. People who attended found out how these services can assist them with leading a safe healthy lifestyle.

There were over 25 local organisations who participated in the expo – from emergency services and Meals on Wheels, to carer and family support services. The SNPHN stall presented information about After Hours health services and aged care. One of the kids’ activities was a colouring competition – here’s one of the wonderful winning submissions:

After Hours competition kids' drawing

We also had a stall at the Multicultural Disability Services Expo with plenty of After Hours resources. The expo gave people an opportunity to meet the service providers who can help them and their families with choices and information on local disability services. Here’s Renée Riddle, our After Hours Officer, and Sherryn Moltzen, our Community Engagement Coordinator.

After Hours stall at expo

Prof Simon Willcock
The Clinical Council

The establishment of the SNPHN Clinical and Community Councils was mandated in the terms of establishment for all Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The SNPHN Clinical Council has diverse representation from all components of our member constituency, including general and consultant medical practice, nurses working in the public and private health sectors, and the breadth of allied health providers including aboriginal health, pharmacy and clinical psychology. Our members were chosen from a large field of applicants for their diversity and skills, which include roles in the public and private health sectors, private health insurance, academia and health governance and policy.

The Council was established in late 2015 and was designed to contribute to the further development of the Sydney North Primary Health Network Clinical Council structure, role and membership base; contribute to the strategic planning for the region identifying issues in primary healthcare and options to address these; and play a key role in reviewing the Population Health Needs Assessment for Northern Sydney.

During 2016 much of the Clinical Council time has been spent familiarising ourselves with the scope of the PHN activities, and learning about the diverse mix of skills and interests of our fellow Council members. While the SNPHN region performs well in many population health parameters, there are clear areas of social and economic disadvantage, inevitably associated with difficulty in accessing appropriate health care and poorer health outcomes.

The Council, like the PHN has chosen to focus on these areas of disadvantage. One area that is of interest to each of our members is the health of elderly people in our community, and in particular residents of residential aged care facilities. Not only do this group struggle to achieve appropriate access to health, but these access problems contribute significantly to inappropriate presentations to acute care facilities including hospitals.

While we see the Council continuing to provide a voice and sounding board for local service providers in 2017 we would like to become involved in specific projects that the PHN is undertaking. Many Council members are already members of reference groups for various theme areas, such as mental health, but the development and roll out of HealthPathways provides an opportunity for us to contribute as a Council to Pathway development for aged care services to improve the health service experience for our aged care residents.

Author: Professor Simon Willcock, Clinical Council Chair.

Vale Philip
Vale Philip Gandar

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our colleague and dear friend, Philip Gandar.

Philip was a Director of Synergia, a research, consulting and evaluation group that worked with our founding Medicare Locals and continues to work closely with SNPHN. Philip and his team worked tirelessly to support the establishment and direction of some of our key Primary Care initiatives, including After Hours (GP services) and more recently palliative care. His dedication and passion to his work was unparalleled and he will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are now with Philip’s family, friends and the team at Synergia.

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