In 2011, people living in Clarence were surveyed about their health and wellbeing. Some people said that they had a hard time getting access to doctors and health care.
Some of those reasons included:
- Not knowing what help is out there
- Health information is hard to understand
- Services can feel unwelcoming or unhelpful
Following on from the survey, Council’s Health Promotion Working Group worked on the GP Access Project to understand more about who was having a hard time accessing doctors, finding out who might be more vulnerable than others, and looking at what the barriers are that stop people from getting access to health care and health information. This information was collated into the GP Access Project Report.
After the report was released, Council was offered some funding by Primary Health Tasmania in December 2017 for a project that would build on this work and help the community overcome some of these barriers. The Help to Health project was born.
The pilot project was evaluated by the Tasmanian Council of Social Services (TasCOSS). Read the Help to Health Evaluation Report to find out about the work done from December 2017 to June 2018.
From July 2018 to December 2020, the project has been funded by the Tasmanian Government Department of Health (DoH) Anticipatory Care Research Project. The DoH funding supported the good work we have already been doing with a focus on preventing long-term health conditions.
The Project found that:
Anticipatory care can support people’s current and future health needs. An effective anticipatory care system relies on a combination of accessible, locally-appropriate services and facilities, and collaborative, trusting relationships between services and between services and citizens. It is undermined by poor access to resources through stigma, cost and relationship disruption. The system is shaped by policy at all levels of government and within organisations but must reflect local ways of working and resources.
In Clarence, the AC system needs to be able to reach people across the municipality’s ‘villages’, and to provide locally-relevant supports. Local government could play an important role. It is well-placed to do this because it can:
- reach across the municipality
- decide local policy and where to expend resources
- build on its existing role in community preventive health
- use its strong voice to lobby for better supports for the anticipatory care system
- support the necessary links between the many places and services, individuals, groups and organisations that make up the anticipatory care system.
Read the Summary and report here: