Friday, 15 December 2017

FW: Available Now: NSQHS Standards (second edition)

The NSQHS Standards (second edition) are now available.

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards addresses gaps identified in the first edition, including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It also updates the evidence for actions, consolidates and streamlines standards and actions to make them clearer and easier to implement.

Health service organisations will be assessed to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards from January 2019.

The Commission's National Model Clinical Governance Framework is also available now. Building on the NSQHS Standards, the Framework provides information about corporate and clinical governance, and roles and responsibilities for people within a health service organisation.

The Commission has developed a range of other resources to support implementation of the NSQHS Standards.

For more information on the second edition and related resources please contact the National Standards team on 1800 304 056 or accreditation@safetyandquality.gov.au

Monday, 11 December 2017

Understanding health research tool

Understanding health research: A tool for making sense of health studies is a tool designed to help people understand and review published health research to decide how dependable and relevant a particular study is.

The tool askes a series of questions to ask about the specific study the user is concerned about, and explains what the answers to those questions mean in terms of the quality of the research. Funded by the Medical Research Council in the UK, the site also has some very useful links to sources of pre-appraised research, other critical appraisal tools and handy scientific information like common sources of bias, correlation versus causation and sampling methods.

Maternal deaths in Australia 2012-2014 [AIHW]

The maternal mortality rate in Australia in 2012-2014 was 6.8 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth, which is among the lowest rates in the world. The most common causes of maternal death were bleeding in the brain and in the abdomen (non-obstetric haemorrhage). Women over the age of 35 and under 20 were more likely to die in association with childbirth.

Download report: Maternal deaths in Australia 2012-2014.

Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006-07 to 2015-16 [AIHW]

This report presents information on admitted patient hospitalisations that were completely or partially funded by private health insurance in Australia's public and private hospitals over the past 10 years. It compares private health insurance-funded hospitalisations with hospitalisations for public patients and patients funded by other sources. Private health insurance is funding a growing proportion of public hospital admissions-rising from about 1 in 12 in 2006-07, to 1 in 7 in 2015-16.

Media release: National report presents information on private health insurance use in public and private hospitals.

Download report: Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006-07 to 2015-16<Download report: Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006-07 to 2015-16.

Health-adjusted life expectancy in Australia: expected years lived in full health 2011 [AIHW]

Health-adjusted life expectancy reflects the average length of time an individual can expect to live without disease or injury.

This report shows that: health-adjusted life expectancy increased comparably to life expectancy; and that people in Remote and very remote areas and people in the lowest socioeconomic group expected both shorter lives and fewer years in full health compared with their counterparts in Major cities and the highest socioeconomic group.

Download report: Health-adjusted life expectancy in Australia: expected years lived in full health 2011.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Residential aged care: 10 questions to ask

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) have produced a series of leaflets aimed at informing consumers about what questions to ask when looking for suitable residential aged care. Titled 10 Questions to Ask, these leaflets have been developed by experts in each area, and consumer tested by advocacy groups involved in the NSW Aged Care Roundtable.

Staffing, Oral health, Rural and Remote, ATSI, Palliative Care, LGBTI and GP services are among those released, with further leaflets on Older Peoples Mental Health and Dementia at the consumer testing stage.

You can find the available leaflets – and the list of supporting organisations at the following link: www.10questions.org.au

Health services must stop leaving older people behind—WHO

WHO's new Guidelines on integrated care for older people recommend ways community-based services can help prevent, slow or reverse declines in physical and mental capacities among older people. The guidelines also require health and social care providers to coordinate their services around the needs of older people through approaches such as comprehensive assessment and care plans.

'The world's health systems aren't ready for older populations', says Dr John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life course at WHO.

WHO Guidelines on Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE)

WHO Media Release.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Trends in Indigenous mortality and life expectancy 2001-2015 [AIHW]

This report examines Indigenous mortality and life expectancy during the period 2001 to 2015, based on evidence from the Enhanced Mortality Database.

* The study observed increases in life expectancy during the study period for both Indigenous males and females across most jurisdictions.
* Life expectancy however increased faster among non-Indigenous than among Indigenous males and females.
* As a result, there was little change in the life expectancy gap.

Download report: Trends in Indigenous mortality and life expectancy 2001-2015.

Access to health services by Australians with disability [AIHW]

People with disability use a range of mainstream health services-such as GPs, medical specialists and dentists. Some experience difficulties in accessing these services, such as unacceptable or lengthy waiting times, cost, inaccessibility of buildings, and discrimination by health professionals.

Download web: Access to health services by Australians with disability.

Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009–2014

This report uses linked data to provide a more complete understanding of deaths among people with diagnosed diabetes. It highlights that death rates for people with diabetes are almost double those of other Australians and that people with diabetes are more likely to die prematurely.

Between 2009 and 2014, death rates fell by 20% for people with type 1 diabetes but rose by 10% for those with type 2 diabetes.

Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009–2014.

Emergency department care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics {AIHW}


This report provides information on people who present at emergency departments in Australia, including who used services, why they used them, and how long they had to wait for care.

In 2016–17:

•there were about 7.8 million presentations to Australian public hospital emergency departments, an average of more than 21,000 per day

•patients aged 4 and under (who make up less than 7% of the population) accounted for about 11% of all emergency department presentations

•patients aged 65 and over (who make up about 15% of the population) accounted for more than 21% of emergency department presentations

•about one-quarter (or almost 2 million) of emergency department presentations had a principal diagnosis in the ICD-10-AM chapter Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes

•the two most common individual principal diagnoses reported were Abdominal and pelvic pain (4.3%), and Pain in the throat and chest (3.6%)

•about 73% of all presentations were 'seen on time' (within the clinically recommended time for their triage category), with almost 100% of Resuscitation patients (needs care immediately), 77% of Emergency (needs care within 10 minutes) patients, and 92% of Non-urgent (needs care within 120 minutes) 'seen on time'

•the proportion of presentations that were 'seen on time' ranged from 61% in the Northern Territory to 81% in New South Wales

•about 72% of emergency department presentations were completed in 4 hours or less, varying from 64% in South Australia and the Northern Territory to 75% in New South Wales

•about 31% of patients were admitted to hospital after their emergency department care; 49% were admitted in 4 hours or less, and 90% within 10 hours and 44 minutes.

Between 2012–13 and 2016–17:

•presentations to emergency departments increased by 3.7% on average each year. After adjusting for coverage changes, presentations increased by an estimated 2.6% on average each year

•the proportion of presentations that were 'seen on time' (within the clinically recommended time) was fairly stable across the period, ranging from 73% (in 2012–13 and 2016–17) to 75% (in 2013–14)

•the proportion of emergency department presentations completed in 4 hours or less rose from 67% in 2012–13 to 73% in 2015–16, and decreased to 72% in 2016–17.

Emergency department care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Two AIHW obesity reports

Overweight and obesity in Australia: a birth cohort analysis.

Adults in 2014-15 were significantly more likely to be obese than adults of the same age 20 years earlier at almost any given age. At age 18-21, 15.2% of those born in 1994-1997 were obese, almost double the proportion of those born in 1974-1977 at the same age (8.0%). Children and adolescents in 2014-15 were also significantly more likely to be overweight or obese at ages 10-13 and 14-17 than those of the same age 20 years earlier.



A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia

This report provides an overview of overweight and obesity in Australia-a major public health issue that has significant health and financial costs. Almost one-quarter of children and two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and rates continue to rise, largely due to a rise in obesity, which cost the economy $8.6 billion in 2011-12.


Media release: Gen, X, Y and Z: Obesity risk higher for younger generations.

Infographic/Stats mat: An interactive insight into overweight and obesity in Australia.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Work-related hospitalised injuries, Australia 2006-07 to 2013-14 [AIHW]

There were 617,755 hospitalised cases funded by workers' compensation in Australia in the period from 2006-07 to 2013-14, with 72% being male and 96% aged 15-64. Almost 38% of these cases were hospitalised primarily due to a musculoskeletal-related condition while 32% were hospitalised primarily due to injury and poisoning. There were 234,104 hospitalised cases reported as work related over this period, with 61% being funded by workers' compensation.

Download report: Work-related hospitalised injuries, Australia 2006-07 to 2013-14.

Hospital care for Australian sports injury 2012-13 [AIHW]

This report focuses on acute care services provided by hospitals for sports injuries treated in Australian hospitals in 2012-13. Cases of sports injury are examined in terms of the body region injured. Of the selected injury types, Head injury was the most common, accounting for 16% of all hospitalised sport related cases. Injury to the knee accounted for 12% of hospitalised sports injury.

Download report: Hospital care for Australian sports injury 2012-13.

Impact of physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions [AIHW]

This report details the impact of physical inactivity on disease burden in the Australian population. Results from this study suggest that prevention and intervention efforts may best be focused on sustained population-level increases in physical activity, by as little as 15 minutes each day, to avoid associated disease burden. It also highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups experiencing larger rates of disease burden due to physical inactivity.

Major findings include:

* Physical inactivity is responsible for 10–20% of burden for related diseases

* 2.6% of the total disease burden in 2011 was due to physical inactivity

* 1.7 times higher rate of physical inactivity burden in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with the highest

* When physical inactivity is combined with overweight and obesity the burden increases to 9%; equal to tobacco smoking

Download report: Impact of physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Spatial variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women's access to 4 types of maternal health services

This report presents the findings of a project which assessed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women's access to hospitals with public birthing services and 3 other types of maternal health services across Australia, then investigated possible high-level associations between access, maternal risk factors and birth outcomes.

Access to services

The study examined the geographic access of Indigenous women of child-bearing age (15–44) to 4 types of on-the-ground maternal health services: hospitals with a public birthing unit; Indigenous-specific primary health-care services (ISPHCSs); Royal Flying Doctor Service clinics; and general practitioners (GPs). Using 1 hour drive time boundaries around these locations and population counts from the 2011 Census at a range of geographic levels (SA2, remoteness, jurisdiction), the study found:

* approximately one-fifth (25,600 or 21%) of Indigenous women of child-bearing age lived outside a 1 hour drive time from the nearest hospital with a public birthing unit
* nearly all (97%) Indigenous women of child-bearing age had access to at least 1 type of maternal health service within a 1 hour drive time. The lowest levels of access were for women in Very remote and Remote areas, where 84% and 93%, respectively, had access to at least 1 type of service.
* Indigenous women of child-bearing age in Major cities, Inner regional and Outer regional areas had more types of services available to them within a 1 hour drive time than did women in more remote areas. Thus, they had more choice in which service they use.

Association with area-level maternal risk factor and birth outcomes

Examining possible associations between geographic accessibility to services, maternal risk factors and birth outcomes at the Indigenous Region level, the study found that poorer access to:

* GPs was associated with higher rates of pre-term birth and low birthweight
* ISPHCSs with maternal/antenatal services was associated with higher rates of smoking and low birthweight
* hospitals with public birthing units was associated with higher rates of smoking, pre-term birth and low birthweight
* at least 1 service was associated with higher smoking rates and higher rates of pre-term delivery and low birthweight.

Download report: Spatial variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women's access to 4 types of maternal health services

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Roadblocks in mental health care

Clinical factors stand in the way of better mental health care, according to new research led by Flinders. The research project led by Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Chair of Nursing (Mental Health) at Flinders University, has found that despite best practice techniques being available to reduce or eliminate seclusion and restraint, national system-wide implementation is inconsistent.

The project, funded by the National Mental Health Commission, and conducted by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), reveals that clinical factors stand in the way of achieving a restraint-free environment in mental health care.

Read more at: https://indaily.com.au/news/local/2017/11/08/roadblocks-mental-health-care/

Greater support for mental health in the bush

THE rate of suicide is 66% higher in rural Australia compared to major cities, with farmers twice as likely to take their own lives than the general population. Per capita rural Medicare expenditure on mental health care is 60% of what it is in cities.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said distance was one barrier for those in the bush, which had now been removed.Mr Littleproud said a new telehealth initiative was available for people living in rural and remote areas, improving access to psychological services."I often hear travel times and the fear of others knowing you're receiving help stops people from putting up their hand for assistance - so that's why we've introduced this new service to improve mental health access,” he said.

See more at: https://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/greater-support-for-mental-health-in-the-bush/3260006/

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Trends in injury deaths, Australia 1999-00 to 2011-12 [AIHW]

This report focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999-00 to 2011-12.

The age-standardised rate of injury deaths decreased from 55.4 to 47.2 deaths per 100,000 between 1999-00 and 2004-05 and changed little after that. Rates of injury deaths involving transport injury and homicide declined from 1999-00 to 2009-10, while rates for most other external cause groups fluctuated over this period. Rates for suicide deaths declined from 1999-00 until 2004-05 and remained relatively steady thereafter.

Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were generally at least twice as high as rates for non-Indigenous Australians over the period from 2001-02 to 2011-12.

Download report: Trends in injury deaths, Australia 1999-00 to 2011-12

Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people [AIHW]

This report presents trends in fall related hospital care for people aged 65 and older from 2002-03 to 2012-13. There was a decrease in the rate of hip fractures due to falls (-2% per year) between 2002-03 and 2012-13. In contrast, falls resulting in head injuries increased at a particularly high rate (7% per year).

Download report: Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 2002-03 to 2012-13

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Australian health expenditure-demographics and diseases [AIHW]

In 2012-13, hospital admitted patient expenditure was estimated at $45.0 billion, and accounted for almost one third (31%) of total health expenditure. Expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was estimated at $2.1 billion. Expenditure was highest in older age groups, but grew for all age groups from 2004-05 to 2012-13 (45.5%). Cardiovascular diseases were the largest disease contributor at $5.0 billion (11.1%), followed by injuries at $4.1 billion (9.0%).

Download report: Australian health expenditure-demographics and diseases: hospital admitted patient expenditure 2004-05 to 2012-13

Friday, 20 October 2017

5 new AIHW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 reports

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released 5 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 reports todawhich can be accessed by clicking below.

These reports give the latest information on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in each state are faring according to various measures of health status and outcomes, determinants of health, and health system performance.Indicators are based on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework. The reports highlight the main areas of improvement, and continuing concern.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report: New South Wales.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report: Queensland.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report: South Australia.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report: Victoria.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report: Western Australia.

Monday, 16 October 2017

National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have launched the new National strategic framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's mental health and social and emotional wellbeing 2017-2023. The framework sets out a comprehensive and culturally appropriate stepped care model that is applicable to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific and mainstream health services. It will help guide and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health policy and practice over the next 5 years, and be an important resource for policy makers, advocates, service providers, clients, consumers and researchers.

The framework is designed to complement the Fifth national mental health and suicide prevention plan and contribute to the vision of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan 2012-2023.

The framework was developed under the auspices of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, co-chaired by Professor Pat Dudgeon and Professor Tom Calma AO.

National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023.

"Head to Health": Australia’s new digital mental health gateway

Australia's new digital mental health gateway, Head to Health, is now live. Head to Health connects people to online and phone mental health services appropriate for their individual needs.

Head to Health will help people to take control of their mental health, at a time and place convenient to them, complementing or in place of face-to-face services. It supports people seeking help - either for themselves or someone they care about.

Head to Health is not only helpful when seeking support for a mental health condition, it also provides information about staying mentally well for every Australian.

Services and resources listed on Head to Health are delivered by Australia's mental health service providers including the Butterfly Foundation, CanTeen, beyondblue and Kids Helpline. They include free or low-cost apps, online support communities, online courses, and phone services that are private and secure.

Head to Health was developed in collaboration with the community, the mental health sector and the Department of Health.

Visit Head to Health for more information.

Building a digital mental health gateway was a key part of the Government's response to the National Mental Health Commission's Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.

Friday, 13 October 2017

New report and web report: Mental Health Services [AIHW]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a report and web report:

Mental health services-in brief report and Mental Health Services in Australia web report

Mental health services: in brief 2017 provides an overview of data about the national response of the health and welfare system to the mental health care needs of Australians.

Sections that are being updated in the online Mental Health Services Australia pages are
* Mental health services provided by general practitioners
* Mental health service provided in emergency departments
* Community mental health care
* Residential mental health care
* Overnight admitted mental health care
* Same day admitted mental health care
* Restrictive practices

Media release: Access to mental health services through Medicare on the rise with almost 1 in 10 Australians accessing government-subsidised services.

Download report: Mental health services-in brief

Download web report: Mental Health Services in Australia.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

50 years since citizenship: successes and challenges in Indigenous health

This year, Australia celebrates 50 years since the 1967 referendum, when the nation voted to amend the constitution to allow the federal government to create laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and include them in the census. The latest issue of Public Health Research & Practice reflects on some of the changes that have occurred since the referendum, particularly with respect to progress in improving Indigenous health outcomes.

Articles in this issue include an interview with the Indigenous Health Minister, Ken Wyatt, about the policy and politics of improving Indigenous health; a perspective on the Indigenous smoking epidemic and what stage it is at; an article on research priorities in Indigenous cancer and an 'In practice' article describing a NSW Health program established to strengthen the Aboriginal public health workforce.

Non-themed papers look at trends in fall-related ambulance use and hospitalisation among older adults; an overview of child injury surveillance capabilities in NSW; and the validity of self-reported medication use compared with the gold standard, pharmaceutical claims data.

Link to full issue

Friday, 6 October 2017

Health expenditure Australia 2015-16 [AIHW]

Health expenditure Australia 2015-16 is available as either dynamic data or a PDF report.

* Total spending on health in Australia was $170.4 billion in 2015-16, $6.0 billion (3.6%) higher in real terms than in 2014-15. This was the 4th consecutive year that growth was below the 10 year average of 4.7%.

* Despite the low growth, the share of the economy (GDP) represented by health (10.3%) continued to grow, due to slower real GDP growth (2.7%).

Media release: Governments chipping in more for health, as individual Australians pay less.

Download report: Health expenditure Australia 2015-16.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Health of Australia's males and females [AIHW]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released two new web reports.

Health of Australia's males and females

* This release updates the AIHW's existing web report on male health and creates a new report focused on female health.
* The reports contain data on chronic conditions, risk factors and comorbidities, including some information on sex-specific health issues (for example, maternal health).

Download report: The health of Australia's females.

Download report: The health of Australia's males.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Reporting the Health and Development of Children in Rural and Remote Australia

In 2017, Royal Far West, a not-for-profit organisation providing leadership in rural and remote children's health and wellbeing, commissioned the Centre for Community Child Health to undertake a review of the health and development and wellbeing of children in rural and remote Australia.

Published in September 2017, Reporting the Health and Development of Children in Rural and Remote Australia:

* profiled the population characteristics of children in rural and remote Australia
* identified the current context and the developmental health needs, met and unmet, of vulnerable children and families in rural and remote Australia; and
* provided an evidence-based overview of what is causing the status quo, and what is most effective in addressing these issues.

The Report emphasised the developmental, behavioural and mental health status/needs of children aged 0-12 years of age, and existing gaps in the provision of appropriate services that help address developmental needs and support children, and their families, to reach their potential.

The review presented a range of key findings covering:

* the distribution of children by Indigenous status and remoteness, across each jurisdiction
* the disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children
* the profile of children residing in rural and remote areas in each of the identified jurisdictions
* main service gaps for children and families in remote and rural Australia
* what the evidence says about ways of improving health and development outcomes for children in rural and remote Australia
* strategies shown to be effective in improving access and outcomes for children
* knowledge gaps and opportunities to improve services and outcomes.

Download the full report: Reporting the Health and Development of Children in Rural and Remote Australia

Read the summary report: The Invisible Children: The state of country children's health and development in Australia

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Pathways to permanent residential aged care in Australia [AIHW]



Some 61,300 people first entered permanent residential aged care (PRAC) in 2013-14. While they used over 1,000 different combinations of other aged care in the preceding years, the most common pathway (used by 1 in 4 people) was through Home and Community Care (HACC). Many pathways showed a similar pattern of moving 'up' to progressively higher levels of support.

Download report: Pathways to permanent residential aged care in Australia: a Pathways in Aged Care (PiAC) analysis of people's aged care program use before first entry to permanent residential aged care in 2013-14.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Survey of Health Care, Australia, 2016 [AIHW - ABS]

4343.0 Survey of Health Care, Australia, 2016

The publication presents national-level results from the Survey of Health Care 2016 (Survey). The Survey explored experiences of coordination and continuity of care by people aged 45 and over who had at least one GP visit in the 12 months prior to selection of the survey sample. It covers health status, access and appropriateness of care, plus demographic information for reporting on equity measures.

The Survey was funded by the AIHW and conducted by the ABS. It was designed to provide robust samples for each of the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas and new information for the primary care sector to improve patients' experiences and outcomes. While the forthcoming publication presents national-level results, in 2018 the AIHW will release a series of publications with results by PHN area.

Media release: Over 45s report positive experiences with Australia's health care system.

Download publication: 4343.0 - Survey of Health Care, Australia, 2016.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Stroke: No Postcode Untouched

This report from the Stroke Foundation demonstrates the cities and towns where stroke is having its biggest impact, where the need for stroke survivor support is most urgent and where the future stroke hotspots are located. It contains federal electorate breakdowns of key information including the number of strokes, the number of stroke survivors living in the community and the leading risk factors for preventable stroke.

By looking at the No Postcode Untouched website you can see that the Electorates of Parkes and Calare have over 5800 people living with stroke. In 2017, 429 people in Calare and 421 in Parkes suffered a stroke.

Download the report: No Postcode Untouched: Stroke in Australia 2017.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

New websites connect rural people to mental health support

Each year, 1 in 5 of us will experience a mental health problem. If you live in the city, you are twice as likely to see a psychologist than if you live in a rural area of NSW.

To address this the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) and its flagship progran the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program(RAMHP) have launched new websites ensuring rural communities know when, where and how to find mental health support when they need it.

Director of the CRRMH Professor David Perkins said the new websites were developed to make it easy for anyone to find evidence-based information and research, useful resources, and contact details for Rural Adversity Mental Health Coordinators located across NSW.

The visually appealing and easy to navigate websites also include links to research papers, publications and studies on topics such as rural suicide prevention and Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

Centre for Rural & Remote Health website.

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program website.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The quality of Australian Indigenous primary health care research focusing on social and emotional wellbeing: a systematic review

This review looks at how to address the challenge of conducting Indigenous-focused primary health care research that is scientifically robust, culturally appropriate and produces community-level outcomes.

Key points:

* More examples are needed of Indigenous-focused health research that are scientifically robust and acceptable to thecommunity
* A range of research designs is used depending on the collaboration, community perspectives and the study aim
* Participatory action research can inform localised interventions and research designs, including randomised designs
* Processes that are culturally sensitive may improve community acceptance. These include two-way learning,participatory, social–ecological and phenomenological approaches
* Research should produce beneficial community-level outcomes

Link to the review.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Planning and evaluating palliative care services in NSW.

A new report by the NSW Auditor-General, Planning and evaluating palliative care services in NSW has found that NSW Health's approach to planning and evaluating palliative care is not effectively coordinated. There is no overall policy framework for palliative and end-of-life care, nor is there comprehensive monitoring and reporting on services and outcomes.

NSW Health has a limited understanding of the quantity and quality of palliative care services across the state, which reduces its ability to plan for future demand and the workforce needed to deliver it. At the district level, planning is sometimes ad hoc and accountability for performance is unclear.

The capacity of LHDs to use accurate and complete data to plan and deliver services is hindered by multiple disjointed information systems and manual data collections. Further, a data collection on patient outcomes, for benchmarking and quality improvement, is not used universally. This limits the ability of districts to plan, benchmark and improve services based on outcomes data.

NSW Health's engagement with stakeholders is not systematic. The lack of an overall stakeholder engagement strategy puts at risk the sustainability and value of stakeholder input in planning and limits transparency.

Over the last 2 years, NSW Health has taken steps to improve its planning and support for districts. The Agency for Clinical Innovation has produced an online resource which will assist LHDs in constructing their own, localised models of care. eHealth, which coordinates information communication technology for the state's healthcare, aims to invest in integrating and improving information systems. These initiatives should help to address many of the issues now inhibiting integrated service delivery, reporting on activity and outcomes, and planning for the future.

Full report

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Western NSW Primary Health Network shows what works in delivering effective Aboriginal health services

The AHHA has released a Deeble Institute Evidence Brief on What works in partnering to deliver effective Aboriginal health services: the Western New South Wales Primary Health Network experience.

This Evidence Brief has been written because early evidence is suggesting that the partnership between the Western New South Wales (NSW) Primary Health Network (PHN) and Aboriginal primary healthcare services in the Western NSW PHN region is proving effective in terms of increased trust and supporting a stronger network of services for local Aboriginal communities. In particular, the structure and governance of services in this PHN region are unique in Australia, and could possibly provide lessons for other PHNs and Aboriginal health programs generally.

The brief outlines and discusses the Western NSW PHN arrangements and how they are supporting and building a stronger platform for the delivery of Aboriginal primary healthcare services in this region.'Western New South Wales Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) has had some exciting and inspiring success in delivering effective primary health services to Aboriginal people', says Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA).

In particular, the number of Aboriginal people using integrated care services for chronic conditions more than doubled in the space of only 4 months.

The Evidence Brief is available at: https://ahha.asn.au/publication/evidence-briefs/evidence-brief-15-what-works-partnering-deliver-effective-aboriginal

Lighthouse project aims to improve cardiac outcomes for Aboriginal people

18 hospitals from around Australia have signed up to the Lighthouse Hospital Project aimed at improving the hospital treatment of coronary heart disease among Indigenous Australians. Lighthouse is operated and managed by the Heart Foundation and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA). It is funded by the Australian Government.

The 18 hospitals cover almost one-half of all cardiac admissions in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Heart Foundation National CEO Adjunct Professor John Kelly said closing the gap in cardiovascular disease between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians was a key Heart Foundation priority, and it was highly appropriate that the announcement coincided with National Sorry Day.

'Cardiac care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is serious business. Australia's First Peoples are more likely to have heart attacks than non-Indigenous Australians, and more likely to have early heart disease onset coupled with other health problems, frequent hospital admissions and premature death. Deaths happen at almost twice the rate for non-Indigenous Australians, yet Indigenous Australians appear to have fewer tests and treatments while in hospital, and discharge from hospital against medical advice is five times as high', Professor Kelly said

More at: https://ahha.asn.au/news/18-hospitals-sign-close-gap-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-heart-health

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Anguish of families touched by suicide revealed in inquiry submissions

The anguish of two families touched by suicide has been laid bare in submissions to an inquiry into the management of health delivery in New South Wales.

The death of 18-year-old Ahlia Raftery in Newcastle's Mater Mental Health Unit in 2015 prompted scathing findings by deputy state coroner Derek Lee. He called for better nurse-to-patient ratios and wearable technology to prove that a patient is still alive.

Read more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-21/anguish-of-families-touched-by-suicide-revealed-in-submissions/8826428

Healing power of art therapy in the country

Moving to a new place is always difficult, especially if you're leaving something behind. But moving to a small regional town in the country, alone — with little support and with a disability is a particular challenge. Ten years ago when legally blind artist, art therapist and social activist Jamahl Pollard moved to Berri in South Australia's Riverland, he faced discrimination because he was different.

But Jamahl has channelled his feelings of marginalisation into teaching mentally ill patients at the local hospital, the healing power of art. See link at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/art-therapy-for-mentally-ill-in-the-country/8829824 and download audio for more info on this story.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

GEN-Aged care data [AIHW Website]

A new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website, GEN, has been launched today by The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP at Parliament House, Canberra.

GEN is a comprehensive "one-stop shop" for data and information about aged care services in Australia. It reports on capacity and activity in the aged care system focusing on the people, their care assessments and the services they use.

GEN is designed to cater for all levels of users, from students looking for information for assignments, right through to data modellers and actuaries.

Overview of GEN

Learn how to use the GEN website

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Health care access, mental health, and preventative health: health priority survey findings for people in the bush (RFDS)

Health care access, mental health, and preventative health: health priority survey findings for people in the bush. This collaborative project with National Farmers' Federation and the Country Women's Association of Australia has been completed. A survey of over 450 country people drawn from every state and territory, saw one-third of responses (32.5%) name doctor and medical specialist access as their key priority.

7 million Australians live in remote and rural Australia. On average, these 7 million Australians have poorer health outcomes and live shorter lives than city residents. For example, the premature death rate is 1.6 times higher in remote Australia than in city areas. The percentage of people in remote areas with arthritis, asthma, deafness, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease is higher than in cities. The health behaviours of people in country areas are less conducive to good health than people in cities, with higher rates of smoking, obesity, and alcohol misuse in remote areas than in cities.

While there is ample evidence on the health access and outcome disparity between city and country Australia, there is little information about how country people themselves see these disparities. In response, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) joined with the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) to assess the health needs of remote and rural Australians and to give voice to country Australians.

The key issues identified by the survey respondents represent the areas in which government policy efforts should be directed. The five most important issues identified by respondents overall were access to medical services; mental health; drugs and alcohol; cancer; and cardiovascular health. The areas of health that respondents identified money should be spent on included: access to medical services; mental health; health promotion and prevention activities; cancer; aged care; and travel and accommodation support for people needing to access health care outside of their community. Many of these areas are already the focus of government policy, but their inclusion in the findings of the survey suggest more effort and resources are required to address them.

Health care access, mental health, and preventative health - survey report.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life

During its 2012-15 term, the NHMRC's former Prevention and Community Health Committee (PCHC) identified mental health as a key project area, with a particular focus on the effectiveness of parenting practices and their role in promoting social and emotional health and wellbeing in children and later on as adults. A new report has just been issued and includes a Plain Language Summary that summarises the findings of 51 systematic literature reviews and analyses the types of interventions aimed at promoting infants' and children's social and emotional wellbeing. The report is aimed at governments and other policy makers, researchers and service providers who work with parents of infants.

National Health and Medical Research Council. (2017). NHMRC Report on the Evidence: Promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program: Evaluation report

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM said the findings from a new report on the preliminary evaluation of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program were encouraging.

"The report found the program is operating effectively, using proven approaches to change smoking behaviours, and delivering evidence based local tobacco health promotion activities. I am pleased the report recommends it continues," Minister Wyatt said.

"Smoking is the most preventable cause of disease and early death among Aboriginal people and accounts for almost one-quarter of the difference in average health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

"The program provides grants in 37 urban, rural, regional and remote areas to assist local communities to develop localised anti-smoking campaigns and offer intervention training for frontline community and health workers."

The preliminary report is available from : http://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/indigenous-tis-target

Press release

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Home Page

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Australia's hospitals at a glance 2015-16 [AIHW]

Australia's hospitals 2015-16 at a glance provides summary information on Australia's public and private hospitals.

* In 2015-16, there were 10.6 million hospitalisations (6.3 million in public hospitals, 4.3 million in private hospitals).
* The average length of stay was over 5 days (5.7 days in public hospitals; 5.2 days in private hospitals).
* 1 in 4 hospitalisations involved a surgical procedure.
* 27% were emergency admissions.
* 149,000 hospitalisations involved a stay in intensive care.
* 60% were same-day hospitalisations.

Download report: Australia's hospitals at a glance 2015-16

Monday, 17 July 2017

Aboriginal Online Health Portal (Cancer Council NSW)

Cancer Council NSW has a new online Aboriginal Health Portal – specific and tailored cancer information for Aboriginal communities.

The portal is divided into community information, information for health workers and research findings on Indigenous cancer. There is also information about a research project Cancer Council NSW funded and conducted called APOCC (Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care).

Links to the Cancer Council NSW main website also provide a wealth of further information.

The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

This report presents findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. Musculoskeletal conditions were the 4th leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with back pain and problems, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the greatest contributors to the musculoskeletal burden. The burden due to musculoskeletal conditions generally decreased over time, varied by condition severity and by population group, and some of the burden was attributed to modifiable risk factors such as overweight and obesity.

Download report: The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011.

The burden of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

This report presents information on the disease burden of chronic respiratory conditions using data from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Respiratory conditions were the 6th leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and upper respiratory conditions being the greatest contributors to the respiratory burden. The burden due to respiratory conditions generally decreased over time, varied by condition severity and by population group, and some of the burden was attributed to modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use.

Download report: The burden of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2015-16 [AIHW]

In 2015-16, about 796 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 206,600 treatment episodes to an estimated 134,000 clients.

* The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of treatment episodes), cannabis (23%), amphetamines (23%), and heroin (6%).
* The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to rise over the 5 years to 2015-16, from 12% of treatment episodes in 2011-12 to 23% in 2015-16.
* The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is rising, from 31 in 2006-07 to 33 in 2015-16.

Media release: More Australians seeking drug treatment-amphetamine treatment more than doubles.

Download report: Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2015-16.

Friday, 23 June 2017

New eBook now available on illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drug Knowledge Centre (the Knowledge Centre) have launched a new eBook which focuses on illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Based on the 2016 Review of illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the team from the Knowledge Centre hopes that the electronic version will be a good learning tool.

This review provides detailed information on the extent of illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including overall self-reported prevalence and prevalence by type of substance. It outlines the health and social and emotional wellbeing harms associated with substance use, as well as the associated hospitalisations, mortality, and wider social impacts.

Download: Illicit Drug Use (e-book).

Non-admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics [AIHW]

Non-admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics

In 2015-16, about 33.4 million non-admitted patient service events were provided by 604 public hospitals, including:
* 15.3 million service events in allied health and/or clinical nurse specialists clinics;
* 9.7 million service events in medical consultation clinics;
* 2.6 million service events in procedural clinics.

Download report: Non-admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Burden of cancer in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 [AIHW]

Cancer was the greatest cause of health burden in Australia in 2011, accounting for around one-fifth of the total disease burden. Most (94%) of this burden was due to dying prematurely, with only a small proportion of the burden due to living with a cancer diagnosis. This report explores in further detail the burden of cancer in Australia, including cancer burden in Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, and by remoteness and socioeconomic group. It also looks at how the cancer burden has changed since 2003, and the potential burden of cancer expected in 2020.

Media release: Cancer impacting Australia's health more than any other group of diseases

Download report: Burden of cancer in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

Friday, 9 June 2017

Patient experiences in Australia in 2015-16 [AIHW]

In the latest web update, Australian adults report their experiences on more than 20 aspects of health and care. Good experiences are an important component of quality healthcare, along with clinical effectiveness and patient safety. Information from 2013-14 to 2015-16 is presented by the Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia, covering topics including self-reported health status, use of health services and cost barriers to accessing services.

In 2015-16, at least four out of five Australians in all PHN areas rated their health positively, yet the percentage of Australians reporting a long-term health condition ranged from 43% to 63% across PHN areas. Australians also reported differences in accessing healthcare services due to cost across PHN areas in 2015-16, with cost barriers nearly three times as high in some areas compared with others.

Download Web update: Patient experiences in Australia in 2015-16.

Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015-16 [AIHW]

Immunisation is important in protecting children from harmful infectious diseases. Our most recent immunisation report shows the large majority of Australian children continue to be immunised and that rates have increased over time, but there is still room for improvement, especially in some local areas.

Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015-16 focuses on local-level immunisation rates for 5 year old children, which have improved nationally and in most local areas over five years. It also includes latest results for children aged 1, 2 and 5 years. Rates are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas, more than 300 smaller local areas and around 1500 postcodes across Australia. Rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Download report: Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015-16.

Media release: Immunisation rates improve for Australian children.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

The Second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation shows variation in the use of specific types of health care across more than 300 local areas nationally, with a specific chapter on women's health.

Types of care examined include hysterectomy, cataract surgery, knee replacement and potentially preventable hospitalisations for selected conditions, including diabetes complications.

The Atlas has been jointly developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care with analyses completed by the AIHW.

Media release: Second Atlas highlights opportunities for healthcare improvement.

View the Atlas: Second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change

The federal government recently announced it will allocate $10 million a year over 4 years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs. However, given that the average cost of an evaluation is $382,000, the extra $10 million a year for Indigenous program evaluations will not go far. To make the most of this additional funding the government must change the way it evaluates and monitors programs. Although formal evaluations for large government programs are important, evaluation need not involve outside contractors. Government must adopt a learning and developmental approach that embeds evaluation into a program's design as part of a continuous quality improvement process.

It is not enough just to evaluate, government must actually use the findings from evaluations to improve service delivery. Unfortunately, many government agencies ignore evaluations when making funding decisions or implementing new programs.

Analysis of 49 Indigenous program evaluation reports, found only 3 used rigorous methodology. Overall, the evaluations were characterised by a lack of data and the absence of a control group, as well as an overreliance on anecdotal evidence.

Adopting a co-accountability approach to evaluation will ensure that both the government agency funding the program and the program provider delivering the program are held accountable for results. An overarching evaluation framework could assist with the different levels of outcomes expected over the life of the program and the various indicators needed to measure whether the program is meeting its objectives. Feedback loops and a process to escalate any concerns will help to ensure government and program providers keep each other honest and lessons are learnt.

Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change.

Monday, 5 June 2017

4 new AIHW Disability in Australia publications

In 2015-16, an estimated 332,000 people used disability support services under the National Disability Agreement (NDA), including around 3,500 who transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) during the year.

* The average age of service users was 35, and around three-quarters (72%) were aged under 50.
* 43% of service users had an intellectual or learning disability, 42% had a physical or diverse disability, 29% had a psychiatric disability, and 18% had a speech or sensory difficulty.
* Almost one-third (30%) of service users aged 15 and over were not in the labour force. Of those in the labour force, two-thirds (67%) were unemployed.
* Two-thirds of service users had an informal carer, most often their mother (73%). Around one in eight (12%) service users had an informal carer who was aged 65 and over.

Download report: Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2015-16

The main report is accompanied by three fact sheets:

Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in community living.

Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in employment.

Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in education.

Mental health in remote & rural communities

Australians living in very remote locations have access to mental health services at a fifth of the rate of city dwellers, according to new research by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).The research paper, Mental health in remote and rural communities found that country residents risk exacerbated mental illness because of insufficient early intervention and prevention services.This report contributes new data on remote and rural mental health.

The report's key findings recommend actions to improve mental health outcomes of remote and rural Australians:

1. Stronger recognition in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan of the significant barriers and challenges, including the large geographic and travel distances, that are faced by those in remote and rural areas when seeking to access comprehensive mental health services, as well as consideration of how these can be overcome;

2. Implementation of innovative service models, including consideration of further use of RFDS infrastructure to deliver necessary, appropriate, and more comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention services, more often; and

3. Appropriate resourcing by all levels of governments, to provide more long-term funding certainty.

Friday, 2 June 2017

National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016-key findings [AIHW]

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016 key findings shows that:

* The decline in the daily smoking rate slowed in 2016 but there were more Australians never taking up smoking.
* Fewer people exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol use but no change in the proportion exceeding the single occasion risk guidelines.
* Overall illicit drug use remained stable but use of some drugs declined.
* Australians now perceive methamphetamines to be the drug of most concern to the community and was the drug most likely to be associated with a 'drug problem'.

Media release: Teenage smoking and drinking down, while drug use rises among older people.

Download web report: National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016 key findings.

Indigenous primary health care reports

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released two new reports:

National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care

This 4th national report on the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) data collection is based on data from more than 240 primary health care organisations that received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to provide services primarily to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Information is presented for 22 'process-of-care' and 'health outcome' indicators for June 2016, which focus on maternal and child health, preventative health, and chronic disease management. The report shows continuous improvements for the majority of indicators.

Download report: National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report-key results 2015-16

This is the 8th national report on organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 2015-16:

* 204 organisations provided primary health-care services to around 461,500 clients through 5.4 million client contacts and 3.9 million episodes of care.
* 216 counsellors from 93 organisations provided social and emotional wellbeing services to around 18,900 clients through 88,900 client contacts.
* 80 organisations provided substance-use services to around 32,700 clients through 170,400 episodes of care.

Download report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report-key results 2015-16.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework 2017 data visualisation tool

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 includes a suite of products that give the latest information on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia are faring according to a range of 68 performance measures.

To support the AHMAC/PM&C report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017, the AIHW is releasing:

* A dynamic data visualisation display that provides a report-card overview of each performance measure, and includes options for displaying detailed, customisable charts
* Online data tables covering a wide range of data for each measure.

Download data visualisation tool: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework 2017.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 Report

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF) monitors progress in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes, health system performance and the broader determinants of health. Beginning in 2006, this is the 6th report in this series. The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is improving for a number of measures, although there remain many areas where further concerted effort will be needed to achieve improvements in health outcomes.

The supplementary detailed statistical analysis (dynamic data displays with interactive charts and online tables), is available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.

Previous HPF reports and further background information can be accessed from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework page on the Department of Health website.

Previous AIHW detailed analyses can be accessed at the AIHW website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 Report.

Read the HTML version of this report.;

Indigenous eye health measures 2016

Indigenous eye health measures 2016 is the first national report on 22 newly developed Indigenous eye health measures. The measures cover the prevalence of eye health conditions, diagnosis and treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, the eye health workforce and outreach services. Subject to data availability, the report examines differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, as well as differences by factors such as age, sex, remoteness, jurisdiction and Primary Health Network.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Weight loss surgery in Australia 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics [AIHW]

Weight loss surgery in Australia 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics is a new report in AIHW's series of summary reports describing the characteristics of hospitals and hospital services in Australia.

* In 2014-15, there were about 22,700 hospital separations involving one or more weight loss surgery procedures. 7 in 8 of these separations occurred in private hospitals.

* Around 18,000 of weight loss surgery separations, or 79%, were for female patients.

* From 2005-06 to 2014-15, the total number of weight loss surgery separations more than doubled, from about 9,300 to 22,700.

Media release: More Australians turning to weight loss surgery

Download report: Weight loss surgery in Australia 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics

Thursday, 25 May 2017

National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions

The National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions (the Framework) is the overarching policy document for chronic conditions that sets the directions and outcomes to achieve its Vision that "all Australians live healthier lives through effective prevention and management of chronic conditions."

The Framework provides guidance for the development and implementation of policies, strategies, actions and services to reduce the impact of chronic conditions in Australia. It supersedes the National Chronic Disease Strategy 2005 and associated National Service Improvement Frameworks.

The Framework moves away from a disease-specific approach and provides national direction applicable to a broad range of chronic conditions by recognising that there are often similar underlying principles for the prevention and management of many chronic conditions. The Framework will better cater for shared health determinants, risk factors and multimorbidities across a broad range of chronic conditions

PDF version: PDF version: National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions - PDF 4.1 MB

Word version: National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions - Word 2.3

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics [AIHW]

In 2015-16, there were about 10.6 million separations in Australia's public and private hospitals-about 59% occurred in public hospitals. There were 30 million days of patient care reported for admitted patients-20.2 million in public hospitals and 9.7 million in private hospitals.

Between 2011-12 and 2015-16:

* the number of separations rose by 3.5% on average each year.

* the number of public patient separations rose by an average of 2.9% each year, compared with 5.5% per year for separations paid for by private health insurance.

* the median waiting time for elective surgery for public patients in a public hospital was 42 days, while it was 20 days for patients who used private health insurance to fund all or part of their admission.

Media release: Hospital admissions growing steadily, more Australians going private in hospitals.

Download report: Admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

League legends take mental fitness to the country

In association with the Act-Belong-Commit, Rugby League legends Wayne Wigham and Percy Knight will be taking their message about mental health to country NSW.

When Rugby League great Wayne Wigham opened up publicly about his experience with depression, he made his message clear - mental illness can affect anyone even if it doesn’t show it on the surface.After seven years working in the Black Dog Institute Education Team, he is gearing up to take his message to communities and schools in country NSW in association with the Act-Belong-Commit initiative.

See more at: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/news/news-detail/2017/05/12/league-legends-take-mental-fitness-to-the-country

Friday, 12 May 2017

Expanding medicare-supported treatment for eating disorder patients

People with eating disorders may soon have access to more than 10 Medicare supported psychological treatment sessions each year, thanks to a recommendation made by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.The minister said the system needed to do more to respond to complex mental illnesses such as anorexia which has the highest associated rate of suicide of any mental illness. Mr Hunt recommended the Medicare review committee look at ways to extend the support to those dealing with the complex mental health disorders.

University of Canberra clinical psychologist Dr Vivienne Lewis, an eating disorder specialist, said even though prevalence was high in adolescents these conditions should not overlooked as byproduct of tumultuous teen years.

See more at: http://www.smh.com.au/act-news/expanding-medicaresupported-treatment-for-eating-disorder-patients-20170507-gvzz0r.html

Mental health funding in the 2017 budget is too little, unfair and lacks a coherent strategy

This week’s federal budget allocated A$115 million in new funding over four years. This is one of the smallest investments in the sector in recent years.For instance, the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) added more than $5.5 billion to mental health spending in 2006. The 2011-12 federal budget provided $2.2 billion in new funding.


This compounds a situation in which, in 2014-15, mental health received around 5.25% of the overall health budget while representing 12% of the total burden of disease. There is no reason those figures should exactly match, but the gap is large and revealing.


See more at: https://theconversation.com/mental-health-funding-in-the-2017-budget-is-too-little-unfair-and-lacks-a-coherent-strategy-77470

Monday, 8 May 2017

Aboriginal identification in hospitals: quality improvement program

The Aboriginal identification in hospitals: quality improvement program report aims to improve the cultural competence of staff in NSW hospital Emergency Departments (EDs), improve the identification of Aboriginality in NSW hospital EDs, and reduce the proportion of Aborigonal patients who have an incomplete emergency attendance.

Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands : community-controlled comprehensive primary health care

Comprehensive primary health care (PHC)—which focuses on the whole patient, not simply a disease state—has been the global 'gold standard' for addressing community health problems since the 1970s, including in Australia. Ideals are rarely put to the test, however.

In 2010 the National Health and Medical Research Centre (NH&MRC) funded the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University to investigate how well community health services in South Australia are conforming to the principles of comprehensive PHC and the reasons for their success or otherwise.

6 community health services were selected for intensive study over several years: 5 in South Australia and 1 in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Of these 6, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress ('Congress') in Alice Springs, best embodied the principles of comprehensive PHC—by a long way.

To read more go to the full report : Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands : community-controlled comprehensive primary health care.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Clinical governance for Primary Health Networks

Responding to the needs of people who are most at risk of poor health outcomes is a priority for governments and communities across Australia. While definitions vary, there is widespread agreement in the literature that the commissioning of health services is more than traditional planning, funding and procurement. It is the process for deciding how to use the total health resources available in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient, effective, equitable and sustainable way.

This issues brief from the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, sets out the rationale for developing and implementing a clinical governance framework for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in commissioning the provision of primary health services that are safe and effective. It provides principles that inform clinical governance policy including recommendations on how clinical governance should be supported in commissioning undertaken by PHNs for contract development, management, auditing and compliance. PHNs also have a role in influencing the uptake of quality improvement activities in general practice including the interface between primary care and community services.

The critical areas in ensuring clinical governance are:

* Consumers having opportunities to manage their own health and also participate in innovation and value creation through co-design processes.
* Clinician-led workforce that enables PHNs to make informed decisions about commissioning health services with providers who have the appropriate capacity and expertise to deliver safe care.
* Delivery of safe quality care through identifying areas for practice improvement and those practices that may put consumers at risk of harm,and making recommendations to prevent or control those risks.
* Clinical risk management to ensure that service providers have the capacity to meet legislative requirements and national and jurisdictional standards when designing best practice for their service.

http://apo.org.au/files/Resource/210417_issues_brief_no_22-_clinical_governance_for_phns.pdf

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia, 2015-16: key findings [AIHW]

In 2015-16, around 796 alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 206,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 133,000 clients.

* The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of treatment episodes), cannabis (23%), amphetamines (23%) and heroin (6%).
* The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to increase over the last 10 years, from 12% of treatment episodes in 2006-07 to 23% in 2015-16.
* The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is increasing, 33 years in 2015-16, up from 31 in 2006-07.

Download web report: Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia, 2015-16: key findings

Infographic: Alcohol & Other Drug Treatment Services 2015-16

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