COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN) $1.7m for eight programs

COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN) has announced $1.7 million in Commonwealth funding for eight new programs to help reduce overweight and obesity levels, and promote healthy and active ageing for people who live in South Eastern NSW.

South Eastern NSW PHN chief executive Dianne Kitcher said the new programs were chosen after extensive research and community consultation by the PHN into the region's health needs.

“Our recent needs assessment has highlighted that we have a relatively high prevalence of chronic conditions across the region, with residents having higher rates of lifestyle risk factors such as physical activity and nutrition,” Ms Kitcher said.

A South Eastern NSW primary health network survey has found a higher rate of lifestyle risk factors regarding physical activity and nutrition. Photo: Dedulo Photos

A South Eastern NSW primary health network survey has found a higher rate of lifestyle risk factors regarding physical activity and nutrition. Photo: Dedulo Photos

“However, there is a lack of affordable prevention programs and services targeting these risk factors. We also have an ageing population in our region, with more than 100,000 people aged over 65 years.”

An open tender process was conducted, inviting applicants to submit proposals across the two specific service areas: chronic disease and healthy ageing, Ms Kitcher said.

Five new programs will be funded to focus on reducing overweight and obesity levels among the population.

In South East NSW, two of the five evidence-based physical activity, nutrition and weight loss programs includes ‘Rural and regional service gaps: Grand Pacific Health’.

It is a series of evidence-based physical activity and nutrition programs to fill an identified service gap to tackle the issue of overweight and obesity.

Three programs will be funded to promote healthy and active ageing to residents to enable them to stay well and remain living in their communities as they age. Servicing South East NSW, two of the three includes:

  • Malnutrition screening: University of Wollongong – offering routine screening for malnutrition in older adults and an accompanying care plan. It will be rolled out to 12 general practices serving geographical areas that have high proportions of the population above 65 years within the PHN area; and
  • Preventing Falls, Promoting Life: Grand Pacific Health – offering a service that aims to prevent falls and harm from falls, in targeted locations that have high ageing populations with high rates of falls, and have identified service gaps for falls prevention options.

“We are delighted with the innovative opportunities that have emerged through this commissioning process and look forward to working with the organisations to review and measure the success in bringing about change,” Ms Kitcher said.

The programs will be funded until June 30 in 2018.

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