Primary Care Access

A new project for the North Coast

Healthy North Coast is embarking on a commissioning project in 2021–22 to improve our region’s access to primary care for current and future generations.

Data analysis has provided increasing insight into the complexities of demand and access to primary care across the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW regions. Low urgency presentations to emergency departments by our 15–24-year-olds are amongst the highest in the country, while people aged 65 and over account for 43% of GP presentations (70% to people 45 and older). Aboriginal people are worst affected and low urgency presentations for young people are highest in in our inland regions of Kempsey, Clarence and Casino.

This project is an exciting opportunity to drive system change and invest in an innovative approach to achieve improved health outcomes and health equity across our region.

The North Coast Health System Demand narrative has been updated. See the latest trends in ED and GP usage.

Healthy North Coast will commission innovative new primary care services this financial year 2021–22.

We’re looking for local young people aged 15–35 to participate in our upcoming codesign workshop.

The case for change

Health System Demand in the North Coast
Update November 2021

Since publishing the Health System Demand in the North Coast report in May 2021 (see below), Healthy North Coast has been progressing its Primary Care Access project.

The codesign process to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to better manage health system demand across the North Coast commences in November 2021.

The Health System Demand in the North Coast Update Report November 2021 has been compiled to support the codesign and commissioning process. It includes more recent data now publicly available regarding low-urgency emergency department (ED) presentations and general practice (GP) service use. Low-urgency ED presentations related information focuses on:

  • low urgency ED presentations (Triage 4 & 5) overview
  • COVID-19 effect
  • age of patients.

General practice data updates relate to GP service use – total numbers and by age group and sex.

Health System Demand in the North Coast
May 2021

Our key document analyses health system utilisation and shows concerning trends across the Healthy North Coast region. You can read the full analysis on Health System Demand on the North Coast or take in the two-page overview.

See individual data reports below (2–3 pages).

Whole of region reports

Our needs assessment fact sheets on younger people and Aboriginal people also provide important information on the health of young people and Aboriginal people in our region. 

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Commissioning new primary care services

Commissioning is a cycle of development and implementation based on needs. It includes co-design, procurement, monitoring and evaluation. Through commissioning, the partnership with providers is focused more on health need, collaborative design and opportunities for innovation.

Commissioning in the Primary Care Access project is informed by Levesque, Harris and Russell’s research on Patient-centred access to health care: conceptualising access at the interface of health systems and populations.

The procurement process commences October 2021 with a request for expressions of interest. Healthy North Coast publishes all requests for tenders, proposals or expressions of interest on TenderLink. For more information on this opportunity, please visit our TenderLink portal.

Consumers, experts, providers and local stakeholders will co-design new and innovative approaches to accessing primary care for young people and Aboriginal people in late 2021. New services are expected to be commissioned in 2022.

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Be informed and involved

Register your interest for our codesign workshop

Finding it hard to get medical help when you need?

Want to hear some ideas, be part of the solution and get paid for it?

We are looking for positive, open-minded, critical thinkers aged 15–35 to join us in our goal to improve the access and experience of healthcare services for local young people.

We want to fund new ways of doing things that will make access to healthcare quicker and easier for current and future generations.

We are inviting young people from across the North Coast footprint to join a community codesign workshop. You will be presented with a selection of ideas aimed at improving young people’s access to healthcare services. Your feedback will be invaluable in shaping the solution.

Not only will your voice inspire change, but you will be paid $50 per hour for your time.

The workshop will run for 2.5 hours and be held via video conference on Tuesday 7 December 2021.

All you need to do is bring your local knowledge, be open-minded and provide honest feedback. As the session will take place via video conference, you will need a strong internet connection on the day.

Register your interest – local service providers

Registrations of interest for local providers to join the codesign closed on 2 November 2021. 

If you have any questions or would like further information, please email:

Beth Menger
Senior Manager, Operations & Engagement NNSW
[email protected]  

Kash Reddy
Senior Manager, Operations & Engagement MNC
[email protected]  

Noell Burgess 
Aboriginal Health Coordinator
[email protected]