Healthy Towns Maclean: February Update

February has been busy in Maclean for Healthy Towns, with projects funded and many plans being finalised. Read on to find out about some of the initiatives we have progressed so far.

Local Advisory Group

The February meeting of the Local Advisory Group was held on 26 February 2019. Senior Project Officer Carolyn Ardler announced that she will be finishing in the role on 27 March 2019. Carolyn is really proud of the work that Healthy Towns has done for Maclean and the extra services and activities it has brought to the already well connected community.

Gulmarrad Gatherings

Gulmarrad Gatherings continue to draw many community members. The most recent gathering focussed on craft and had an exercise display. Our Healthy Towns Project Officer also supported the team of volunteers to draft a funding proposal for a community space.

Residents are invited to:

  • Bring books for the book swap stand.
  • Watch or join in a free exercise class.
  • Collect an update on our progress to acquire facilities.
  • Enjoy a snack and drink from The Little Local Café cart.

The gatherings will now take place every second Saturday from 4pm – 6pm 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.  Cost is $36 for six Weeks or $8 per class. Contact Linda on (02) 6620 7519.
  • The Heart Foundation Walking Group meets at 7am every Friday at the Rotunda near the Bowling Club. Each week new walkers are joining, it’s a wonderful start to Friday. Click here for more information.
Mental Health First Aid

Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Training for Maclean is open to all community members and is coming up in April/May. Check the flyer for details. Contact Wendy French on 0402 494 670 or [email protected] to book your spot.

Youth Hub

The New School of Arts has been funded to run youth hub drop-in centres two afternoons a week in Maclean. This project will be jointly run by Clarence Valley Council.

The centres will run on Tuesdays from 3:30pm – 5:30pm at the Maclean Civic Hall and Thursdays from 3:30pm – 5:30pm at the Maclean Sports Centre. They will commence in the next month, so watch this space for updates.

Closing the Gap Day (4 April 2019)

Healthy Towns has provided a contribution of funding to support Nungera Co-operative to run a Closing the Gap Day event at Wherrett Park for school children across the Clarence. The event will be a market type stall event with a health and wellbeing theme.

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.

What’s next?

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 learn about services, groups and health and wellbeing linkages across Maclean. The service is planned to commence in June 2019.

Senior Project Officer Carolyn Ardler finishes on 27 March 2019, so please forward all correspondence to [email protected] as Sarah Robin, Healthy Towns Co-ordinator will be covering the Maclean Healthy Towns Project.

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