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Annual Planning Cycle

Our approach to the Annual Planning Process aligns with the Department of Health’s Needs Assessment Guide, and involves six phases:

1. Health Needs Assessment - undertaken over 5 months from July > November

This step is about examining the health of our community, the services available and any primary care service gaps that exist. This is achieved through: 

  • Collaborative epidemiology;
  • Research partnerships;
  • Workforce data;
  • Health planning data analysis; and
  • Qualitative consultation with: 
    • Clinical Councils;
    • Community Advisory Committees;
    • Practice Support Officers;
    • GP Chapters;
    • Hospital and Health Services;
    • Service Providers; and
    • Community Connect.

2. Priority Setting - undertaken over 2 months from October > November

Next is determining the key clinical and service integration priorities in the region. This step is completed with assistance of:

  • Department of Health guidelines;
  • Clinical Councils;
  • Health Service Planning Methodologies;
  • Community Advisory Committees.

And takes into consideration:

  • Health economics;
  • Return on Investment;
  • Geographical context;
  • Equity.

3. Engagement and Co-Design - undertaken over 3 months November > January

Once the priorities are defined, the next step is working collaboratively to co-design projects and programs to address gaps in service delivery. This is undertaken with input from:

  • Community Advisory Committees
  • Clinical Councils; and
  • Key partnerships.

4. Planning - undertaken over 3 months from December > February

Once the collaboration has taken place, the next step is developing the project and program plans to address the specific service gaps and priorities identified and developing the Activity Work Plans to present to the Department of Health for approval. This step also includes outcome planning service integration aimed at creating system reform.

5. Implementation - undertaken over 12 months from July > June

The service gaps and needs have been identified; suitable programs have been developed and approval to implement the programs has been received. Now it is time to implement these programs to fill the gaps. This is done through:

  • Commissioning services, where possible working with service providers already in the community;
  • Collaboration through partnerships;
  • Addressing gaps in the availability of service delivery and responding and addressing as necessary.

6. Measurement - undertaken over 7 months from July > January

Continually monitoring and evaluating implemented activities to ensure the best possible patient outcomes and effective use of Commonwealth funding. This includes:

  • 6 monthly + 12 monthly reporting on activities;
  • Contract management;
  • Supporting relationships;
  • Monitoring outcomes;
  • Evaluation; and
  • Learning.

Summary of the timeline for the Annual Planning Process


As part of this process a comprehensive Health Needs Assessment for the Darling Downs and West Moreton Region is completed and made publicly available. The Health Needs Assessment document is due to the Commonwealth Department of Health in November, annually.

The process of developing the Health Needs Assessment is essential in helping us to understand specific health and service needs, key issues and evidence to inform and guide our annual Activity Work Planning Process, allowing delivery of written and evidenced based initiatives in Activity Work Plans by February annually.

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