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.

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

5 new AIHW Injuries publications

Hospitalised assault injuries among women and girls fact sheet

Key findings:
* Rates of assault among women were highest for those aged between 15-19 and 50-54.
* Over half (59%) of all these women were assaulted by bodily force, and for assaults by bodily force and involving sharp and blunt objects, the majority of injuries were to the head and neck (63%).
* Where information about the perpetrator was available, a spouse or domestic partner was the most commonly reported perpetrator (in 59% of cases).

Media release: Domestic violence leading cause of hospitalised assault among girls and women

Dog-related injuries fact sheet

Firearm injuries and deaths fact sheet

DIY injuries fact sheet

Serious unintentional injury involving a railway train or tram, Australia, 2009-10 to 2013-14 report

Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions [AIHW]

Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions updates and extends estimates of the burden due to overweight and obesity reported in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 to include burden in people aged under 25, revised diseases linked to overweight and obesity based on the latest evidence, and estimates by socioeconomic group.

* The report includes scenario modelling, undertaken to assess the potential impact on future health burden if overweight and obesity in the population continues to rise or is reduced.

* The enhanced analysis in the report shows that 7.0% of the total health burden in Australia in 2011 is due to overweight and obesity, and that this burden increased with increasing level of socioeconomic disadvantage.

Download report: Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions

Media release: Small changes in our weight could significantly reduce health impact of obesity.

Early childhood the key to improving Indigenous health

A major study into the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has found programs and policies to promote healthy weight should target children as young as three.

Lead researcher Katie Thurber from the Australian National University said the majority of Indigenous children in the national study had a healthy Body Mass Index, but around 40% were classified as overweight or obese by the time they reached 9 years of age.

Deeble issues brief on overweight and obesity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children