Potentially preventable hospitalisations rates in the region are high in comparison to other PHN regions, with chronic and vaccine preventable conditions being the most common.
Chronic disease prevalence rates in the region are significantly higher than the state averages, and the health behaviours of the population commonly below the state averages, with weight, diet, physical inactivity and smoking being key contributors.
Premature mortality rates for all disease groups are significantly above the state premature mortality rates. The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN ranked first in Australia for the greatest number of people per 100, who have one or more health risk factors such as smoking, high risk alcohol usage, poor diet and no or low exercise in the previous week.
The Darling Downs and West Moreton region is home to more than 10,000 people from migrant and refugee backgrounds of diverse cultures, signalling a need to ensure support to facilitate a smoother transition to the Australian healthcare system.
To improve the health outcomes of people living in our region and reduce potentially preventable hospitalisations, the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is working with health professionals across the region to identify evidence-based programs that target our key priority population health issues.
Population Health strategies supported by our PHN include:
- Advanced care coordination – supporting clients with high and complex chronic disease needs to maximise health literacy and access to wrap-around services in a timely manner in an appropriate environment.
- Targeted self-management programs – empowering clients to effectively self-manage their chronic conditions and reduce deterioration, exacerbation or complication of their conditions which may require an acute response.
- Health promotion – supporting programs in shifting behaviours to better manage risk factors associated with chronic conditions and to reduce the likelihood of converting these risk factors to a chronic condition e.g. increase physical activity and healthy eating choices.
- Direct clinical interventions – commissioning providers to support high and complex chronic disease clients whose needs exceed those offered through Enhanced Primary Care, complementing existing service delivery through EPC referrals for chronic disease.
- Refugee support – working closely with refugee support services to improve partnerships and pathways for health assessments and screening, immunisation catch-ups, and referrals to health care providers including chronic disease services.
- Translation and interpreter services – continue the provision of translation and interpreter services for allied health and pharmacies not eligible for government subsidy.
- After hours primary healthcare – improving access to primary health care for people whose health condition cannot wait for treatment until regular services are available in the in-hours timeframe.
- Immunisation support – working collaboratively with the DDHHS and WMHHS to increase childhood immunisation rates by providing clinically appropriate support and resources to general practices on the National Immunisation Program.
- Supporting vulnerable groups – focus on developing solutions for refugee health, people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, and integration and service access for people with disability.