Sydney North Health Network 2015/16 Annual Report

SNPHN have just released their inaugural 2015/16 Annual Report. The report reflects and documents a successful first year as a Primary Health Network across our four strategic priority areas including Commissioning, Building Primary Healthcare Capacity, Service Transformation. Our summary audited financial statement is also located on pages 54-66 of the Report.

As a snapshot – no one summarises the achievements our first year better than SNPHN CEO Lynelle Hales.


As the CEO of the Northern Sydney PHN (operated by the Sydney North Health Network), it is a pleasure for me to report on the 2015/16 inaugural year. It has been an exciting year as we built on the strong foundations established by the two Medicare Locals, Northern Sydney and Sydney North Shore and Beaches.

As a new organisation this year we have put in place our corporate governance framework, undertaken an IT strategic roadmap, delivered strong healthcare campaigns and key messages, and built a strong commissioning organisation. We have a highly skilled and adaptable workforce to enable us to realise our strategic vision.

Our PHN has an important role to drive, support and strengthen primary healthcare in our region. Our aim is to simplify the healthcare system by providing better information, education and networking opportunities for health professionals, connections across the health system, a better experience for health providers and
improved health for the Northern Sydney community.

Our partnership approach and community focus is reflected in our vision: Achieving together – better health, better care.

Our Strategic Plan 2015-18, developed through Board and stakeholder discussions, identified four strategic priority areas for the next three years to realise this vision:

  • Building Primary Healthcare Capacity: enhancing GP and clinical leadership and supporting the retention, development and growth of a contemporary primary healthcare workforce.
  • Service Transformation: Working together across the health system for the coordination of care and seamless transitions. Developing health intelligence at the patient, practice and health system level to improve understanding and create solutions.
  • Commissioning: working with the market to codesign, deliver and actively manage services to most effectively and efficiently meet the needs and improve outcomes within the resources available.
  • Organisational Excellence: operate in an environment of continuous improvement and systematic risk management to deliver our commitments.

Our first Baseline Needs Assessment revealed a changing demographic that faces a number of challenges across age groups with pockets of disadvantage. The Needs Assessment process has enabled us to investigate further and identify specific areas where there is a significant need for services and support in order to achieve improved health outcomes for vulnerable community groups, namely residents with mental health or drug and alcohol problems, disadvantaged youth and the elderly.

The PHN will drive improved health outcomes in the local community by leading the planning, coordination and integration of services, bringing all parts of the health system together and commissioning appropriate services that respond to regional need. We have created opportunities this year to engage and work in partnership with GPs, allied health professionals, nurses, the Northern Sydney Local Health District and our local community. Key highlights included:

  • The SNPHN launch and stakeholder engagement event, December 2015 (over 260 attendees).
  • The establishment of our Clinical and Community Councils with experienced and broad representation has ensured our planning and commissioning decisions have been locally owned and led.
  • Clinical education program established with 42 events held and over 1700 participants.
  • General practice support program established, with 1805 interactions.
  • Building a growing membership base, with over 500 members approved before end of June 2016.
  • Establishing a clinical support program including HealthPathways, with over 100 people from across the region attending the initial launch.
  • Commissioning opportunities for stakeholders to partner with us through grant funding in after hours, mental health and innovation grants (23 recipients funded).
  • Continued access to services – facilitated access for 2623 clients to 13269 short-term psychological individual and group sessions; 44 clients received care coordination and supplementary services through 6559 episodes of care coordination; and 2500 year 10 and 11 students participated in our GP in Schools program around proactively accessing health services.
  • Working in partnership to facilitate continuous quality improvement (QI) with:
    • The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and Northern Sydney Local Health District on the primary care musculoskeletal program;
    • The Improvement Foundation developing quality indicators for management of dementia and implementing a QI coaching program;
    • The University of Sydney and NSW Clinical Excellence Commission to implement a iSOLVE falls prevention research program; and
    • The University of Sydney and PCCS (Primary and Community Care Services) in implementing the Nurse Transition program in general practice.
  • The establishment of a new website, eNewsletters and social media channels with an average of 49,150 website page visits per month, 3500 eNews subscribers, and a social media community of over 750 people.

A special thank you to our Chair, Dr Magdalen Campbell, whose leadership and guidance has made an enormous contribution to the success of the organisation during our inaugural year. I would also like to recognise the support of our Board, who have worked tirelessly to ensure we are strategically positioned to improve services and have a positive impact on the lives of local people.

We could not have achieved so much without the support of the Chair, Board, Members, Clinical and Community Councils, funding partners and stakeholders and (of course) our staff. I congratulate and thank everyone for their efforts. I am proud to be working alongside such a great team and look forward to the ongoing successes we can achieve together.

Lynelle Hales
SNPHN Chief Executive Officer