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New Western NSW program reaches milestone in Diabetes Week

15 July 2022

Community healthcare providers across Western and Far West NSW are rising to the cause of responding to the regions’ type 2 diabetes needs under the NSW Government’s $13.7 million Collaborative Commissioning: Care Partnership – Diabetes program.

The program, which will be accessed by patients as the Living Better and Stronger – Diabetes Program, aims to link more than 11,000 patients to enhanced diabetes care over the next three years.
The program draws on the collaborative strength of the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), Far West Local Health District (FWLHD), Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) and NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

Coinciding with Diabetes Week 2022, the program has now attracted interest from 29 service providers including General Practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Over the coming weeks the program is set to commence working with those providers to tailor support to their communities.

When the program launches in communities, the program will partner with service providers to support timelier, integrated care which draws on collective expertise to improve outcomes for people living with type 2 diabetes in the region.

WNSWLHD Chief Executive Mark Spittal said it is expected that even more community service providers will express their interest in the program as it rolls out over three years.
“To know service providers are already interested in joining this program merely a month after its launch is indicative of how committed Western NSW healthcare professionals are to combatting type 2 diabetes. This is definitely something to celebrate as part of Diabetes Week,” Mr Spittal said.

FWLHD Chief Executive Umit Agis said the program will help enhance the continued provision of first-class care for patients with Type 2 diabetes, particularly in rural and remote areas of the region.

“Effective collaborations in healthcare delivery like this means equality of care and access to that care in spite of location, which, in our huge region, can mean the difference between quality patient care outcomes and outcomes that are far more serious,” Mr Agis said.

WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Coe said the program’s integration of public and primary healthcare service providers allows services to be tailored to specific communities’ needs.

“Our partner organisations, stakeholders, teams and healthcare professionals on the ground know the region and residents better than anyone and we are thrilled that our region’s providers are expressing their interest to be part of this powerful alliance,” Mr Coe said.

RDN CEO, Richard Colbran said the program is offering continual improvement to access innovative models of care for service providers and their patients.

“This collaboration will support the region’s skilled and committed health workforce to provide access to quality diabetes care for patients across the Western and Far West NSW areas,” Mr Colbran said.

The latest data from the National Diabetes Service Scheme and HealthStats NSW shows that six per cent of people in Western NSW have diabetes, compared to 5.4 per cent of people across NSW. However, more concerningly it is 40 per cent more likely that those people in Western NSW will die from diabetes.

Service providers can find more details and register their interest in the program online at https://wnswphn.org.au/carepartnership-diabetes.