Working together to strengthen health and community services planning and collaboration in Melbourne’s west
HealthWest Partnership is a strategic alliance of two Primary Care Partnerships ( WestBay Alliance and Brimbank Melton Primary Care Parntership) established to support and improve the planning, coordination and delivery of health and community services in Melbourne’s western areas of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton and Wyndham. HealthWest brings together 32 health care providers, community organisations and local government members in a voluntary alliance to strengthen coordination and input into healthy public policy, prevention, early intervention and chronic care initiatives. The partnership is committed to supporting an integrated approach to strengthening our local communities’ health and wellbeing.
HealthWest promotes partnerships and coordinated service system approaches for: identifying and responding to specific community needs; incorporating social determinants of health into health planning; promoting equal access to health information and services; fostering joint health initiatives and discussion; and supporting professional and staff development on shared health and community issues.
Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives
In response to the rising incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases in Melbourne’s west – in particular diabetes for which there has been a 126% increase in the number of people with the disease (from 2001 to 2008) – HealthWest has developed the Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives planning model to join up research, policy, planning and prevention with best practice care for people with chronic diseases.
Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives is adapted from the Expanded Chronic Care Model and is in line with health care reform articulated by both the Australian and Victorian governments.
Our Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives model incorporates three levels of activity:
Population health policy development, planning and research to identify the social determinants of health in our local areas and to match services to needs;
Prevention initiatives focusing on health promotion, disease prevention activities and empowering communities to gain equal access to health information and services; and
3. Early intervention and chronic care
Early intervention and chronic care services coordination and integrated chronic disease management, with diabetes chosen as the first focus owing to a higher prevalence of diabetes in Melbourne’s west than the Victorian average.
The system redesign approach of this model aims to support our member organisations and the community to work together to ensure that people get the right health support at the right time, improve equal access to health information and services and reduce the burden of disease.