Healthy Towns Maclean: April Update

There has been a flurry of activity for Healthy Towns in Maclean, with a number of projects funded and many plans finalised.

Gulmarrad Gatherings

Gulmarrad Gatherings continue to draw many community members. The March gathering was the fourth of its kind. It was well attended, with not only community members but the five candidates in the state election who came along to give their support.

A large group of students from the KMA Clarence Valley Black Belt Success School were in attendance. KMA is a new and fun way to keep you, and your kids, fit and healthy while learning valuable life skills. Led by Eric Blair, the group gave a fun and interactive demonstration. There was also a toy swap and opportunities for local residents to connect with each other.

The Gulmarrad Gathering group currently meet on the road verge, but they have been working hard to acquire permanent fenced facilities in Gulmarrad… somewhere that the 1,700 adults and children of Gulmarrad can exercise and connect socially.

Gulmarrad Gatherings take place every second Saturday of the month from 4 – 6 pm at the red bench on Brooms Head Road.

Tai Chi & Walking Groups

Our two new groups continue to be a success.

  • Tai Chi every Monday from 1pm-2pm has moved to the Bowling Club and has commenced again for the year.  Cost $36 for six weeks or $8 per class. Contact Linda on (02) 6620 7519.
  • Heart Foundation Walking Group every Friday at 7am from the Rotunda near the Bowling Club. Each week new walkers are joining its such a wonderful start to Friday.
Youth Hub

The New School of Arts has been funded to run a youth hub drop-in centre twice a week in Maclean. This project will be jointly run by Clarence Valley Council. The drop-in service will run on Mondays from 3:30pm – 5:30pm at the CWA Hall and Fridays from 3:30pm – 5:30pm at Wherrett Park. They will commence in the next month, so watch this space for the commencement date.

Clarence Valley Women Inc

Clarence Valley Women Inc. will be holding their annual Women’s Wellbeing Day in Gulmarrad this year. Healthy Towns is providing a contribution of funding to allow the day to progress. It will be held at the Gulmarrad School on 25 May 2019. The wellbeing focus fits well with Healthy Towns and we are excited to be part of the project.

Youth Driver Training

Healthy Towns has funded the New School of Arts, in a partnership with Clarence Valley Council, to identify and support youth who need to build up their 120 hours of driver training. The project will allow participants to attend the PCYC Safe Driver program (credit 20 hours) and also support them to gain a licence, reducing social isolation of vulnerable youth.

What’s On Calendar

The calendar is in the final draft and ready for the printers. The Maclean Business Chamber will be assisting with distribution. A link to the electronic version will be placed on the NCPHN website when it is completed.

Maclean Service Centre

We are currently finalising the details of the Maclean Service Centre in partnership with the Clarence Valley Council. This will be a once-a-week open space for community members to go to learn about services, service groups and health and wellbeing linkages across Maclean. The service is planned to commence in June 2019.

Farewell to Carolyn

Senior Project Officer Carolyn Ardler finished in her role on 27 March 2019.

Carolyn has done an outstanding job bringing together a wide range of people, organisations and initiatives through the Healthy Towns program. She has been instrumental in catalysing many community projects in Maclean and has built new relationships and friendships along the way.

We wish you all the best in your new role, Carolyn. You will be missed!

Please forward all correspondence regarding Healthy Towns Maclean to the Healthy Towns Program Co-ordinator Sarah Robin at [email protected].

Aged Care Disaster Management Planning

Strategic Priority Area: One team

North Coast is identified as the region most likely to be impacted by climate change in Australia and also forecasted greatest growth in those 65+.

Healthy North Coast takes a lead role in ensuring the older population and the sector that supports them are prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

We have led eight regional disaster management capacity building workshops, bringing together SES, community organisations and the aged care sector.

We have also developed disaster preparedness tip sheets for both residential and community aged care providers.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Strategic Priority Area: One team

In May 2022, the NSW Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022. Effective from Tuesday, 28 November 2023, eligible people have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. 

Healthy North Coast has developed a webpage for both health professionals and consumers, with links to available information and resources.

Living with Dementia resources

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

Healthy North Coast has worked with people living with dementia, their families and local service providers to develop an information booklet that will help them connect with local and national supports along their journey.

The booklet includes commonly asked questions for people to ask their GP and/or specialist.

The resource is available in digital and printed copies, with more than 5,000 distributed across the region. An e-version is available to clinicians via the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment HealthPathway.

Deteriorating Resident Triage Tool Pilot

Strategic Priority Area: One team

The Deteriorating Resident Response Tool (DRRT) has been developed to guide RN’s in Residential Aged Care homes (RACHs) to better understand, anticipate and make clinical decisions responding to the deteriorating health of residents.

The objective of the DRRT is to give RACH staff clear information to triage and provide appropriate care for a range of residents’ health conditions, and, in turn, prevent unnecessary presentations to ED.

The tool has been designed together with a specialist geriatrician, consulting with stakeholders such as Residential Aged Care Managers, NSW Ambulance, GPs, and experts from Mid and North Coast LHDs.

The pilot commences in March with four participating RACHs. Evaluation measures will include effectiveness in building RN confidence and reported reduction in unnecessary hospitalisations. Findings will inform a future planned, region-wide implementation.

North Coast Care Finders Program

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

The Care Finders program is a free region-wide service to support vulnerable older people who have no-one else to help them, to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

Care finders can help people understand what aged care services are available, set up an assessment, and find and choose services. They also help people with access to other supports in the community, both accessing services for the first time and changing or finding new services and supports.

On the North Coast, Healthy North Coast has commissioned four organisations to provide this important service: EACH, Carexcell, Lifetime Connect and Footprints.

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Psychological services in residential aged care homes

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Healthy North Coast commissions two service providers to deliver psychological therapies and supports for older people with, or at risk of developing, a mental illness and who are living in residential aged care homes (RACHs).

The aim of the program is to both provide direct support to residents and their families and carers, as well as upskill the RACH workforce to respond to the needs of residents presenting with mental health concerns.

Social prescribing (Healthy Me Healthy Community)

Strategic Priority Area: Securing a Healthier Future

Delivered by Feros Care, the Healthy Me, Healthy Community program aims to build individual and community connections to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in Port Macquarie.

The program helps people to connect with community, activities, supports and services that address their broader social determinants of health, as an alternative or supplement to a clinical approach.

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Digital Health in Residential Aged Care

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Timely access to primary health care professionals, whether through face-to-face consultation or telehealth, is recognised as an issue for many Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), that in some cases can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations. RACHs require adequate telehealth facilities to support access to virtual consultations for their residents.

Project goals

  • Assist participating RACHs to have appropriate telehealth facilities and equipment to enable their residents to virtually consult when needed with their primary health care professionals, specialists and other clinicians. 
  • Provide training to participating RACH staff to support them to have the capabilities to assist their residents in accessing virtual consultation services.
  • Encourage increased use of My Health Record by RACHs, to improve the availability and secure transfer of resident’s health care information between RACHs, primary care and acute care settings.
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Greater Choice at Home Palliative Care Program

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Aims to provide people who have life limiting conditions the opportunity to exercise choice and receive high quality care at home, harnessing improved and better coordinated supports and services that meet their individual needs.

Program objectives:

  • Improve access to palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services (in primary health care and community care)
  • To enable the right care at the right time and in the right place (to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation)
  • Generate and use data to support continuous improvement of services across sectors
  • Use available technologies to support flexible and responsive palliative care at home, including in the after-hours.

These objectives will contribute to achieving the following intended overarching outcomes of:

  • Improved capacity and responsiveness of services to meet local needs and priorities
  • Improved patient access to quality palliative care services in the home
  • Improved coordination of care for patients across health care providers and integration of palliative care services in their region.

Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000