Service Mapping for Chronic Care a world-first in Western NSW


Andrew Harvey, WNSW PHN, Dr Tanya Bell, ConNetica and Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton MP

Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) is pleased to announce the release of the Integrated Chronic Care Atlas of Dubbo and Coonamble, along with the Integrated Mental Health Atlas of Western NSW.

WNSW PHN together with ConNetica Consulting recently conducted a pilot study that applies an internationally standardised and validated classification tool to map chronic care provision in Dubbo and Coonamble. The classification tool was also used to map Mental health across Western NSW.

The Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said, “chronic disease impacts the welfare and well-being of many people in the Electorate.

“This project will help the Primary Health Network to gain a greater insight to the problem,” Mr Coulton said.

The Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories - Long Term Care (DESDE-LTC) classification tool has been used in several national and international locations to map mental health, alcohol and other drug, and homelessness. This is the first time such detailed mapping of Chronic Care, using an international coding methodology, has been undertaken not only in Australia, but in the world.

John Mendoza, ConNetica Consulting Director, says “the project aims to significantly increase understanding of the current state of population health needs compared with the service response for people with chronic care needs in the City of Dubbo and the town of Coonamble”.

“The Atlases provide a better understanding of what is being delivered on the ground and for service comparisons to made with other areas around Australia and overseas”, continued Mr Mendoza.

The study revealed the WNSW PHN region recorded higher proportions of circulatory, respiratory and endocrine related diseases when compared with NSW and national data. Both Dubbo and Coonamble also showed rates of hospitalisation for COPD above the state average.

WNSW PHN Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Harvey, says the Atlases “provide a significant advancement towards integrated care and achieving improved outcomes for all service users”.

“The results highlight the significance of chronic disease across Dubbo and Coonamble and the WNSW PHN Region. It is one of the nine priority areas identified by the WNSW PHN in its Needs Assessment.”

“Chronic disease is closely linked, if not inextricably related, to all the other eight priority areas, especially Aboriginal health, mental health, service coordination, integration and collaboration,” said Mr Harvey.

He concluded that “they allow policy planners and decision makers to understand the landscape in which they work, including areas of service gaps or over-supply.”

Copies of both Atlases can be found on the WNSW PHN Website and further details can be obtained by contacting the WNSW PHN Dubbo Office on 1300 699 167.