Strategic plan – excellence in health and healthcare for all
The Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), which provides hospital, health services and support services to the central Sydney district, including Redfern and Waterloo, has released a strategic plan and vision looking forward to 2022. The strategic plan, which aims to support the SLHD vision of “excellence in health and healthcare for all”, outlines specific actions, timeframes and implementation targets to ensure that progress is made in each of the eight strategic focus areas. These focus areas are: communities and the environment; patients, families, consumers and carers; people (employees); partners; services; education; research; and infrastructure.
The strategic plan recognises that there are several significant challenges facing SLHD, particularly in areas such as Redfern and Waterloo where there are increasing disparities in economic and health advantage. Other identified challenges looking forward include rapid population growth (particularly an issue as we prepare for a huge increase in residents in the Green Square development), an ageing and diverse community with varying health needs, and adapting to ever-changing approaches to delivering healthcare.
On balance, Redfern-Waterloo residents are exposed to more hurdles to achieving good health compared to people living in other areas of Sydney. It is encouraging that the SLHD strategic plan continues to focus on health equity and social determinants of health, which recognise the multiple factors that impact an individual’s health including ethnicity, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic status. The strategic plan states that a priority in implementing the plan is partnering with patients, families and consumers to design “personalised, responsive, culturally competent, evidenced-based and integrated care that ‘matters’ to our patients” – which is certainly a big aim!
In order to best create health policy, services, and an overall strategic plan that best represents the needs of the central and inner west communities of Sydney, it is important that residents – if they are able – provide feedback on the strategic plan, and highlight areas where there is opportunity for growth or pockets of people who may have been missed in the strategy. The department has opened the strategic plan for feedback from the community, and it can be accessed online at www.slhd.nsw.gov.au.
Feedback on the plan is due by November 30, and your perspectives can be emailed to SLHD-Planning@health.nsw.gov.au. If you are planning on sending feedback, the SSH and REDWatch would also love to hear your thoughts so we can continue to get a better understanding of what Redfern and Waterloo residents want from their local health services.