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Understanding the needs of our region

The Needs Assessment is an important process for all Primary Health Networks

The Needs Assessment is an important process for all Primary Health Networks to identify and understand the health and service needs of the population within their regions and then prioritise activities accordingly to address those needs.

The 2021 process resulted in 45 priority statements across the seven National Priority Areas (NPAs). This included the development of 31 new or refined priorities and 14 carried over from previous Needs Assessments processes (2019 and 2020 submissions).

Needs Assessments are conducted in three-year cycles and are reviewed and updated annually. The most recent report, the Adelaide PHN Needs Assessment 2022-23 to 2024-25, was submitted in late 2021 and marked the first report of a new three-year cycle.

The 2021 Needs Assessment submission contains the results of comprehensive analysis across four of our National Priority Areas (NPAs) including Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Digital Health, Workforce, and Older People and Aged Care.

Needs were identified from analysis of national and local datasets, published and unpublished research, as well as from consultation with our Councils, stakeholders, and the community.

Specific consultations for mental health included a stakeholder survey and focus groups, which engaged more than 100 stakeholders from diverse groups, including people with lived experience of mental illness, GPs, mental health clinicians, and representatives from Adelaide PHN commissioned primary mental health care services, mental health peak body organisations, Local Health Networks, and the South Australian Government.

In previous years, Adelaide PHN has conducted large surveys of General Practice and Allied Health providers in the region. These were not conducted in 2021 primarily due to reduced workforce capacity, and reorientation of resources in our organisation due to COVID-19. Alternate mechanisms for how best to engage with our region's health workforce are currently being considered.

Adelaide PHN has completed nine Needs Assessment reports since 2015. The 2022 Needs Assessment update is currently underway and will include the Population Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health NPAs.

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