25 November 2022

Murrumbidgee Local Health District's new model for improved patient outcomes

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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The ‘Living Well, Your Way’ team has been hard at work in the joint development phase of the initiative. Pictured: Ryan Williamson, Susan Massey, Caroline Holtby and Melanie Reeves. Photo: Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is set to invest $11.7 million over the next three years to improve access to coordinated care in the community, streamline patient care and reduce hospitalisation rates.

People living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or chronic heart failure (CHF) in the Murrumbidgee district will benefit from the NSW Government’s investment as part of the ‘Living Well, Your Way’ initiative.

Living Well, Your Way is a joint initiative between Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) and MLHD, funded by the New South Wales Ministry of Health.

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said Living Well, Your Way was set to deliver pathways designed to streamline patient care for those living with COPD and CHF and reduce the rate of preventable hospitalisations.

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“Murrumbidgee Local Health District has joined with the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and local clinicians to increase early diagnosis and support for people to better understand and manage their condition on a day-to-day basis, reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital,” Ms Taylor said.

“The new service uses digital platforms to better link patients from hospital to home, and will trial innovative technologies to support patients to manage their disease.”

MPHN acting CEO Narelle Mills, said those living with COPD and CHF had repeatedly been identified as a priority population in MPHN’s Health Needs Assessment.

Living Well, Your Way Care Pathway. Photo: Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network.

“This program will not only improve the way health services work together to provide care but also improve outcomes for patients and address barriers to accessing timely care such as travel, wait times and out-of-pocket expenses,” Ms Mills said.

MLHD Chief Executive Jill Ludford said Living Well, Your Way connected rural clinicians and services in a one-system approach for patients and included engagement with pharmacies, peak bodies, and community groups.

“By working together, we can build on existing services, reduce duplication and address gaps in service delivery,” Ms Ludford said.

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Expressions of interest are being sought from the region’s healthcare providers for their involvement in this highly anticipated initiative, which will be delivered as the Living Well, Your Way Care Pathway.

‘Collaborative Commissioning’ is one of four programs under NSW Health’s priority to accelerate value-based healthcare, supporting local partnerships to deliver more coordinated, patient-centred care in the community.

MPHN revealed that among the 31 primary health networks in the country, MLHD had the second highest rate of preventable hospitalisations for treatment of people living with COPD and CHF.

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