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Health Services

Health services

Health services range from prevention and early detection in primary health care to ongoing treatment and specialist care at hospitals. All areas need to provide appropriate comprehensive primary health care services to reduce the burden of disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

4. Networks

Our networks
  • What organisations/services or individuals external to our service do we currently work with (group for corporate functions and for health service functions)?
  • What organisations/services would you like to build working relationships with (group for corporate functions and health service functions)?
  • Are there high quality support providers you would like to work with?
  • Would you consider approaching any of the above organisations to discuss sharing corporate support services?

How to use this tool

This tool is based on information contributed by participants and research undertaken for the Support Systems for Indigenous Primary Health Care Services Project.

1. Assessment

Factors influencing corporate support

There are a range of influencing factors for Indigenous Primary Health Care Services to consider when planning to implement a new corporate support system or build upon and strengthen current systems.
Download or order the Taking Care of Business Overview Report

2. Support required

How to identify corporate support needs

Some organisations identify support needs through structured and regular meetings with the different stakeholders in their service (e.g. a senior leadership group, senior clinicians and public health doctors, Aboriginal Health Workers, community meetings, Board meetings). 

3. Decision making and strategic planning

Organisations should develop guiding principles for the decision-making process to get support. Principles should reflect the needs relating to your organisation, context and community. 

What are the principles that guide how our organisation works? What is our mission statement?

5. Developing a model

What will our model for corporate support look like?

There is no one-size-fits-all model for accessing appropriate corporate support. The models we have identified have varying levels of sharing between organisations, and the organisations participating in them also have different levels of control over how resources are shared.  

A Coordinated Healthy Skin Program for the Top End: Feasibility study report

This paper reports on the findings of the Top End Healthy Skin Feasibility Study, which ran from September to December 2000. The study found that a broad-based approach to scabies and skin health across the Northern Territory was not feasible, and that instead a region-by-region approach should be used to support existing community initiatives. It also recommended dissemination of skin disease literature to remote health services, and identified options for future research into the key skin conditions of scabies and group A streptococcal infections.

A Framework for Developing Standard Operating Procedures for Pre-licensure Vaccine Trials in the Northern Territory

The authors of this paper have developed a manual for those involved in preparing implementation plans for industry-sponsored paediatric vaccine trials, particularly those in the pre-licensure phases. The manual provides a framework for the development of Standard Operating Procedures for any particular trial, taking account of the core requirements of vaccine trials and the steps which must be taken through all stages of a study.

A Longitudinal Data Resource on Key Influences on Health in the Northern Territory: Opportunities and Obstacles

The role of social factors in contributing to the poor health status of Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory is widely accepted, but not well understood. This project aimed to address this situation by providing a strong evidence base to support the development and implementation of policies that improve the social health of Aboriginal communities in the NT over the long term. As part of the project researchers developed a series of consistent indicators with standardised data definitions to measure the effectiveness of primary health care services. The project was also informed by a number of data-related projects undertaken through the Northern Territory-based Menzies School of Health Research (MSHR) and the CRC for Aboriginal Health, including specifically a project on the socio-economic and environmental determinants of health in Aboriginal communities in the NT (NT SEEDH – Stevens).

A Multifaceted Health-service Intervention in Remote Aboriginal Communities: 3-year follow-up of the impact on diabetes care

Objective: To examine the trends in processes of diabetes care and in participant outcomes after an intervention in two remote regions of Australia. Design: Follow-up study over 3years. Setting: Seven health centres in the Tiwi Islands and the Katherine West region of the Northern Territory. Participants: 137Aboriginal people with type 2diabetes.

A Nursing Partnership for Better Outcomes in Aboriginal Mental Health, Including Substance Use

This article draws on our participatory action research findings and interventions, such as advocacy and professional education, as applied during and after a large project focusing on Aboriginal mental health and safe medication management. The project was conducted by our research team and partners, community-controlled Aboriginal health services, and community leaders.

A Reciprocal Relationship: Accountability for public value in the Aboriginal community sector

The Aboriginal community controlled health sector is a major provider of primary and preventative health care services to Aboriginal people outside Australia’s major cities and towns. It is important that it functions well. There are many aspects to good service delivery. This paper contributes to one of them—good management—both in the community health services themselves and in the public sector agencies that fund them.

A Regional Initiative to Reduce Skin Infections amongst Aboriginal Children Living in Remote Communities of the Northern Territory, Australia

Background: Linked to extreme rates of chronic heart and kidney disease, pyoderma is endemic amongst Aboriginal children in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT). Many of those with pyoderma will also have scabies. We report the results of a  community-based collaboration within the East Arnhem Region, which aimed to reduce the prevalence of both skin infections in Aboriginal children.

A structured systems approach to improving health promotion practice for chronic disease in Indigenous communities

This research explores the feasibility of quality improvement methods for health promotion by investigating the impact of a continuous quality improvement intervention, similar to the model used in the ABCD (Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease) Project. While the ABCD Project has a clinical focus, this research will develop and test a number of tools and a range of strategies relevant to quality improvement for health promotion.

ABCD (Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease)

This continuous quality improvement (CQI) project aims to enhance health outcomes by assisting Indigenous primary health care centres to improve their systems for delivery of best practice care.

ABCDE project achievements

A final report on the work and outcomes of the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease (ABCD) Extension project is about to be published, providing a comprehensive analysis of one of the most significant research efforts ever undertaken by our predecessor, the CRC for Aboriginal Health.

The report will be disseminated to participating health centres, government agencies and Lowitja Institute stakeholders, and will shortly be available for download from our website, along with a Policy Brief summarising the report’s key findings.

Aboriginal Health Workers and Diabetes Care in Remote Community Health Centres: A mixed method analysis

Objective: To assess the effect of employing Aboriginal health workers (AHWs) on delivery of diabetes care in remote community health centres, and to identify barriers related to AHWs involvement in diabetes and other chronic illness care. Design, setting and participants: Three-year follow-up study of 137Aboriginal people with type 2diabetes in seven remote community health centres in the Northern Territory.

Aboriginal Mental Health Workers and the Improving Indigenous Mental Health Service Delivery Model in the Top End

Objectives: This article reviews the changing Aboriginal mental health service delivery model of Top End Mental Health Services, and highlights the importance of Aboriginal mental health workers in improving communication with Aboriginal patients. The Australian Integrated Mental Health Initiative Northern Territory Indigenous stream (AIMHI NT) is introduced. ?Method: Baseline measures of AIMHI NT in 2003, and findings from two clinical file audits (1996 and 2001) at Royal Darwin Hospital inpatient unit are presented.


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