The Board held its quarterly meeting in Alice Springs on 28 August 2017 and reviewed the communiqués from NT PHN’s Community Advisory Council, Central Australia Clinical Council and Top End Clinical Council.
NT PHN’s three Councils provide key links between primary health care providers and the NT PHN Board. They are a key platform for enabling NT PHN to better understand the health needs of Northern Territory communities, and to support and strengthen the role of general practice and allied health sectors in comprehensive primary health care.
- The May 2017 Joint Council and Board meeting was noted as a positive interaction and highly valuable by all Council members. It proved a successful opportunity for Council members to better understand their roles and contribution and how this communicates through to the NT PHN Board and benefits NT PHN in supporting primary health outcomes. Councils looked forwards to the momentum continuing with a view toward strategic vision and themes when convening.
- BoardEffect was welcomed as an Out-of-Session tool to utilise the sharing of information between Councils, establish and capture feedback forums and importantly promote a feedback loop through to the Board and NT PHN on consultation and feedback requirements. The Board noted the increased level of feedback sought and gained through Out-of-Session requests. The Board thanks Councils for their valuable input.
- The Board noted NT PHN will move to embed Council involvement in NT PHN Needs Assessment activity plans in line with commissioning cycles. Further to this and to ensure appropriate consultation, the Board welcomed the development of a process that documents the flow of information and stages of involvement and consultation requested of Councils.
- The Board noted the Councils were provided details of program activities delivered across regions to demonstrate the cycle of commissioning and proposed feedback input opportunities into the future.
- The Board noted the Community Advisory Council’s request for consumer participation in NT PHN’s Health Pathways Governance Group and recommended the matter for consideration to NT PHN’s CEO.
- The Board noted Council actions had also been provided to the CEO and the Board look forward to receiving updates at future Board meetings.
- The Board welcomed the involvement of Council Members at the Compass Teaching and Learning Conference and Pop-Up PHN events and expressed thanks to members who have committed to assist. The Board noted these events allow valuable contribution and coming together of health professionals across the Northern Territory.
- The Board noted expressions of interest will commence shortly to fill available vacancies across the Councils, as per Terms of Reference, and facilitated by NT PHN.
- The Board supported Councils’ feedback that they valued an NT PHN Director attending their meetings. The Board is committed to ensuring this occurs.
- The Board agreed that NT PHN write to the Productivity Commission of Human Services about the importance of considering challenges in implementing privatisation of human services in regional and remote areas such as the NT.
- The Board supports a meeting with the NTG Department of Health, NTG Health Advisory Committees, NT PHN and NT PHN Council representation to discuss the mutual benefit in working together to assist shape health service delivery within the Northern Territory.
- NT PHN Commissioning documents were noted by Councils with feedback sought in full at round of Council meetings, commencing October 2017.
- The Board resolved to approve changes to the Community Advisory Council, Top End Clinical Council and Central Australia Council Terms of Reference.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all Council members for their participation in these important governance groups, and I look forward to your continued input into improving primary health outcomes across the Northern Territory.
Dr Andrew Bell, Chair