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Reducing pressure on our Emergency Departments

In partnership with SA Health and general practices, Adelaide PHN continues to support four Priority Care Centres (PCCs) across metropolitan Adelaide. The centres are part of a program providing community-based health care and treatment for eligible patients who would otherwise be seeking a service from an Emergency Department (ED).

During the last financial year, a total of 17,251 people were seen across these sites – a number which demonstrates the value of this program to reducing pressure on our EDs.

PCCs are GP-led with additional support from hospital staff who are specially trained in acute assessment and care. PCCs are located in suburbs where data indicated higher rates of lower acuity presentations to ED.

The types of urgent care presentations for people accessing the PCCs include minor sprains, strains and sporting injuries, suspected simple isolated fractures, minor wounds, cuts, abrasions, lacerations, chronic conditions, urinary and upper respiratory tract infections and ear, nose and throat pain.

The success of the PCCs has been achieved through a strong commitment from the partners, who have committed to supporting the program for another three years. The program approach and, importantly, the ability to adapt and evolve, is proving invaluable. Many of the key principles and design elements which were established at the outset remain a critical part of its delivery:

  • Access to radiology, pathology and pharmacy

  • Access to follow-on services that could be accessed if the person had attended an ED

  • Did not result in admissions

  • Patient choice to attend the PCC

  • No additional out of pocket expenses for the person

Outside of the care this enables people to receive, the program’s success is evident in that it has become a true example of integration – better connecting our systems and fostering effective and collaborative communication.



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