NACCHO’s new Baseline Profiles to demonstrate extent, experience and value of the ACCHO Sector to policy makers


“NACCHO will use the Baseline Profile to demonstrate the extent, experience and value of the ACCHO Sector to policy makers in government and those developing new programmes and budgets.

NACCHO is developing Baseline Profiles for its Member Services in 300 locations coordinated by 140 NACCHO Member Services as a first step in getting health and related data back in the hands of the Member Service ACCHOs and their communities.”

ACCHOs are a critical component of Australia’s primary health care system; the Baseline Profiles and Member Service’s localised profiles will re-enforce this fact “

Matthew Cooke Chair NACCHO

NACCHO delivers Map-Based Decision Support Services – Our Data in Our Hands for more info

NACCHO Baseline Profiles – putting data to work is from NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper Page 10 April edition : Download 24 pages here

In these times of changing Federal policies, cut backs in areas of funding and overall fiscal constraints, ACCHOs are faced with providing broad ranging evidence of their performance to justify existing budgets and staffing levels, as well as justifying applications for new funding for the expansion of services into identified areas of need.

Challenges are also arising as an increasing number of programmes are being funnelled through the newly formed Primary Health Networks.

A new approach for determining funding allocations being used by the government and PHNs is referred to as “market testing”. This approach will potentially require ACCHOs to compete with state and territory health departments, other NGOs and for-profit practices and corporations for the provision of basic services and for the delivery of new programmes.

Mapping the service delivery footprint of ACCHOs service areas is important to demonstrate their role and significance as unique providers of comprehensive primary health care in over 300 locations coordinated by 140 NACCHO Member Services. ACCHOs are working with many of the new PHNs to build an understanding of the actual range of services provided to the population in their communities and the geographic extent of their service delivery. PHNs are required by the Department of Health to develop Health Needs Assessments and associated planning.

The ACCHO Sector has over 320,000 clients with over 3.7million client contacts delivered in 2013-2014. In comparison, the number of Emergency Department presentations in public hospital emergency departments in all states and territories was 7,195,903 (2013-2014) and RFDS undertook 292,523 client (patient) contacts in the same period.

NACCHOs Baseline Profiles, based on publicly available data, are being created for each Member Service. The profiles form a template to enable Member Services to add data from their own information systems. These localised templates will then be available for use in reports for Service planning and to provide evidence of performance, as well as for communications with community, funding bodies and policy makers.  A critical aspect of planning is “access to services”, for both existing services and for identifying areas where there is no access i.e. gaps.

The Baseline Profiles are using drive times (the time it takes to drive to an ACCHO) as a way of determining accessibility to health services, building on the work of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC).

SEE Koori Mail for 2 and 3 below :The graphic shows example panels from the Baseline Profile for the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service in the electorate of Durack and Country WA PHN.

Map 1

1.Maps showing the 60 minute drive time area from Geraldton, age-gender pyramid of the population and service delivery area for the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS)
2.Heat map showing areas with a high density of Aboriginal people and the area included in a 60 minute drive time. Aboriginal population within the 60 minute drive-time of Geraldton is 3,382 with 4,727 in the larger service delivery area (ABS Census 2011) 3.Age-gender pyramid of the Aboriginal population in the 60minute drive time area.

Service delivery area with GRAMS fixed and mobile clinic serviced locations.




NACCHO Healthly futures : Towards better Indigenous health data-national best practice

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Our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health teams are making a difference

Download the report: Towards better Indigenous health data

 This report describes Phase 1 of a support and evaluation project for the
AIHW National best practice guidelines for collecting Indigenous status in health data sets (the Guidelines).
The project, conducted between July 2011 and December 2012, helped to implement the Guidelines in selected areas, to document implementation activities, to collect baseline information, and to identify barriers to and facilitators for implementation.
The processes for, and status of, Guidelines implementation varied across data sets and health sectors in scope for this project.

  • In the hospitals sector (which supplies data for the National Hospital Morbidity Database and National Perinatal Data Collection), Indigenous status data are generally of high quality and additional support for Guidelines implementation is not currently required.
  • The drug treatment services sector (which supplies data for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set) includes a mix of government and non- government service providers. Some jurisdictions have distributed the Guidelines and undertaken activities in the sector to improve data, but there is scope for more work on implementation in the sector.
  • The mental health services sector (which supplies data for the National Residential and Community Care databases) has undergone reforms with implications for data collection. Future support for Guidelines implementation will be considered as these changes are embedded.
  • The National Diabetes Register has limited coverage of diabetes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, and Guidelines implementation is therefore not a priority at this stage.
  • Cancer registries require upstream work in the general practice sector and pathology messaging to improve identification; the project will provide support in these sectors where possible.
  • The general practice sector is notable as identification is needed for service delivery as well as for data improvements. Targeted support to the general practice sector was provided in Phase 1 of the project and will continue in the next phases of the project.

Further implementation of the Guidelines could be facilitated by:

  • recognising non-jurisdiction stakeholders as essential partners in Guidelines implementation, as the capacity of jurisdictions to implement the Guidelines varies across health sectors
  • supporting jurisdiction implementation processes; for example, by strengthening reporting mechanisms through more detailed description of Guidelines implementation activities to better monitor progress and by identifying areas in need of greater support
  • providing targeted support in selected areas to assist in the systematic implementation of the Guidelines
  • fostering national coordination in the general practice sector.