Country Health SA Local Health Network - 2018-19 Annual Report

22 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Contact phone number: 08 8226 6120

Contact email:

ISSN: 2201-0459

Date presented to Minister: 30 September 2019


Hon Stephen Wade MLC

Minister for Health and Wellbeing

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987 and the Health Care Act 2008, and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting .

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Country Health SA Local Health Network Inc by:

Rebecca Graham

Chief Executive Officer

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network

Signed, 27/09/2019

From the Chief Executive Officer

Country Health SA transitioned to six new regional local health networks (LHNs) and the Rural Support Service on 1 July 2019. This report provides the opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements and legacy of Country Health SA.

From Country Health SA’s earliest days in 2008, the needs of country people accessing healthcare became the focus of its service planning. This meant providing services close to home as safely possible, whether that be through improving access to existing services, supporting those with a continued need to travel, or wherever appropriate and possible bringing specialist clinical services into country.

As Country Health SA expanded services closer to home, often enabled by the innovative use of digital health technology, it was recognised for outstanding services such as renal, cardiac and cancer services, and acute stroke management. The extraordinary expansion and specialisation of mental health services, dedication to infection control and improving standards of maternity and neonatal care, and the enthusiastic embrace of technology to increase accessibility to specialised clinical care including programs such as iCCnet, Virtual Clinical Care and the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES) were also recognised and celebrated.

The work in Aboriginal health and reconciliation has been truly exceptional, with highlights which included ensuring that services were tailored specifically to the needs of local Aboriginal populations, the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program, the Aboriginal Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy, and the Reconciliation Action Plan.

Country Health SA was one of the most innovative, efficient and successful LHNs in the state. Some of the performance highlights include consistently meeting targets for all emergency department ‘seen on time’ triage categories, and elective surgery ‘timely admission’ and ‘overdue patient’ categories.

The new regional LHN Chief Executive Officers, Governing Board Chairs and Board Members all share a passion for ensuring consumers receive the best possible health care. I am confident that the high standards and consistencies achieved through operating as one organisation can form part of the strong foundation of each of the new regional LHNs.

Submitted on behalf of Country Health SA by:

Rebecca Graham

Chief Executive Officer

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network


Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose

Country Health South Australia Local Health Network (Country Health SA) delivered a comprehensive range of health services throughout 61 public hospitals/health services in South Australia, according to population needs, focussing on integrating its service delivery with metropolitan hospitals and other service providers in country locations.

Our Vision

To be the best rural health service

Our Values

  • Customer Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Caring
  • Creativity
  • Courage

Our functions, objectives and deliverables

Country Health SA provided a wide range of public acute, residential aged care, community health and mental health services to country-based South Australians.

Country Health SA’s key objectives were to:

  • build innovative and high-performing health service models that deliver outstanding consumer experience and health outcomes
  • pursue excellence in all that we do
  • create a vibrant, values-based place to work and learn
  • harness the power of partnerships to improve the effectiveness of services
  • elevate and enhance the level of health in country communities.

Country Health SA’s key deliverables were to:

  • provide safe, high-quality health and aged care services
  • engage with the local community and local clinicians
  • ensure patient care respects the ethnic, cultural and religious rights, views, values and expectations of all peoples
  • ensure the health needs of Aboriginal people are considered in all health plans, programs and models of care
  • meet all legislation, regulations, Department for Health and Wellbeing policies, and agreements.

Our organisational structure

Country Health SA was managed by the Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who reported to and was accountable to the Chief Executive, SA Health. The operational regions and strategic directorates at 30 June 2019 are described in the organisational chart below.

Changes to the agency

The State Government established 10 local health networks (LHNs), each with its own governing board, on 1 July 2019. From this date Country Health SA was dissolved and its assets, rights and liabilities were transferred to six new regional LHNs.

During 2018-19 there were the following changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of internal reviews or machinery of government changes:

  • The Governance Reform directorate was established to support the transition of Country Health SA from one LHN to six regional LHNs.
  • The Service Improvement, Strategy and Reform Directorate was disbanded and its functions devolved to the Corporate Services Directorate and the Governance Reform Directorate.
  • From 1 January 2019, the six positions of Regional Director were abolished and six new Deputy Chief Executive Officer positions were established to support the transition from one LHN to six regional LHNs.

Our Minister

Hon Stephen Wade MLC is the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in South Australia.

The Minister oversees health, wellbeing, mental health, ageing well, substance abuse and suicide prevention.

Our Executive team

As at 30 June 2019 the Executive team consisted of:

  • Interim Chief Executive Officer – Rebecca Graham
  • Interim Chief Operating Officer – Wayne Champion
  • Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Barossa Hills Fleurieu – Debbie Martin
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Eyre and Far North – Verity Paterson
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Flinders and Upper North – Ros McRae
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Riverland Mallee Coorong – Wayne Champion
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, South East – Ngaire Buchanan
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Yorke and Northern – Roger Kirchner
  • Executive Director, Medical Services – Dr Hendrika Meyer
  • Interim Executive Director, Allied Health and Community – Melissa Koch
  • Acting Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery – Annie Price
  • Executive Director, Aboriginal Health – Terry Sparrow
  • Executive Director, Mental Health Strategic Operations – Umit Agis
  • Clinical Director, Mental Health – Dr Brian McKenny
  • Chief Finance Officer – Steven Brown
  • Acting Executive Director, People and Culture – Mandy Palumbo
  • Executive Director, Corporate Services – Brett Paradine
  • Director, Country Health Governance Reform – Brett Humphrys.

Legislation administered by the agency


Other related agencies (within the Minister’s area/s of responsibility)

  • Country Health SA Local Health Network Health Advisory Council Inc. (Governing Council)
  • Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • Central Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Northern Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Southern Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Women’s and Children’s Health Network
  • South Australian Ambulance Service
  • Office for Ageing Well

The agency’s performance

Performance at a glance

In 2018-19 Country Health SA continued its strong reputation for achieving key performance areas including:

  • meeting targets for all emergency department ‘seen on time’ triage categories
  • meeting targets for all elective surgery ‘timely admission’ and ‘overdue patient’ categories
  • meeting targets for mental health services such as readmission rates and timeliness of care in the community
  • achieving improvements in other key performance indicators including average length of stay, same day elective surgery rate, and the percentage of potentially preventable admissions
  • reducing avoidable acute activity through enhanced community-based and virtual health services
  • all Country Health SA hospitals and health services meeting national standards for safety and quality
  • meeting targets for consumer experience
  • growing treatment services closer to home including acute stroke treatment, chemotherapy and renal dialysis
  • delivering services tailored specifically to the needs of local Aboriginal populations, such as the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program, Aboriginal Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy, and Reconciliation Action Plan
  • delivering investment on capital upgrades and equipment in country hospitals and health services
  • delivering community, in-home and residential services within the Country Health Connect brand
  • effectively preparing for the governance reforms to the public health system through the establishment of six regional LHNs, including governing boards.

Agency contribution to whole of government objectives

Objective - More jobs

The commencement of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy was a critical achievement, contributing investment towards:

  • improving services for long-term, high-quality maternity care
  • providing further specialised training for allied health professionals
  • providing additional training and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners
  • providing medical workforce support grants, supporting recruitment and retention of GPs in rural communities
  • expanding training opportunities for community support workers
  • providing mental health education for suicide prevention and patient management
  • supporting rural community nursing workforce to manage more complex clients in rural areas
  • providing rural dental workshops, promoting a rural career for dental professionals
  • expanding the Digital Telehealth Network
  • providing simulation and training equipment.

Objective - Lower costs

Costs for consumers were reduced through delivering programs such as:

  • the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme
  • timely elective surgery in rural communities
  • increasing access to telehealth services
  • home-based chronic disease monitoring.

Objective - Better services

Significant service outcomes achieved included the following:

  • Acute stroke treatment was made available 24/7 at the three country stroke services, Mount Gambier, Riverland General (Berri) and Whyalla Hospitals, with additional sites including Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Port Pirie Hospitals also now able to provide clot-busting medication for eligible stroke patients, guided by a neurologist.
  • 30 hospitals are now supported by the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES), ensuring rural GPs and nurses have access to remote medical support overnight when required.
  • The majority of country public hospitals in South Australia now have access to high-quality specialist advice via the Digital Telehealth Network, including through the MedSTAR emergency medical retrieval service.
  • The expansion of regional cancer services has enabled more country cancer patients to receive chemotherapy treatment closer to home, with the South Coast (Victor Harbor) chemotherapy unit now able to provide medium complexity chemotherapy, in addition to the existing medium complexity units at Whyalla, Mount Gambier and Port Pirie. The expansion of cancer services has provided an increase of 1.4 FTE of medical oncologists, and 2.0 FTE of cancer care coordinators.
  • The Borderline Personality Disorder Collaborative, referred to as BPD Co, was launched in June, and now provides specialist, statewide, community-based, recovery-focussed care to people living with borderline personality disorder in South Australia.
  • Statewide telerehabilitation services were delivered to people in their own homes via an iPad or computer.
  • Clients with chronic conditions were supported through the My Health Point of Care Innovative Technologies Trial (PoCiTT) home monitoring program.
  • Design and planning progressed for upgrading facilities including the renal unit at Mount Gambier, the new 36-bed aged care facility at Strathalbyn and District Health Service, and the emergency department at Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.
  • The Aged Care Assessment Program ensured that older people could gain timely access to residential aged care, home care packages and transitional care packages.

Agency specific objectives and performance

Agency specific objectives and performance
Agency objectives Indicators Performance
Clinical services reform
  • Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network (iCCnet) Cardiology Service average response time
  • Stroke neurologist support for country hospitals
  • Chemotherapy and cancer care activity
  • The average response time was 9 minutes, including more than 2,733 calls made by country general practitioners (GPs) and nurses.
  • 232 neurologist consultations occurred for 225 patients. 122 transfers were potentially avoided and 22 out of 24 (92%) of country stroke patients who received thrombolysis were treated at a country hospital (June 2018 – end of March 2019 period).
  • 5,324 chemotherapy treatments, 4,152 cancer specialist medical consultations and 6,040 cancer-related nurse activities were delivered across 15 regional chemotherapy units.
Improving access to health services in our communities
  • Community, nursing and allied health service activity
  • Avoidable hospital activity
  • Potentially preventable admissions
  • Country access to cardiac health (CATCH) telephone cardiac rehabilitation program uptake/completion rates
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program activity
  • Approximately 302,000 community nursing and allied health services were delivered to 62,373 individual clients.
  • 7,022 clients with chronic conditions received increased community-based support, resulting in avoiding 3,834 hospital admissions, 2,018 emergency department presentations, and 780 occupied bed days.
  • There were 9.8% potentially preventable admissions (target 8.5%).
  • The CATCH program had 585 referrals, with 70% uptake, and continues to have a very high completion rate (up to 97%), improving patient risk factors and mortality rates.
  • The NDIS program has seen increases in active clients, including 466 children and 317 adults.
Hospital services
  • Emergency departments seen on time
  • Elective surgery timely admissions
  • Telerehabilitation consultations
  • Virtual Clinical Care home tele-monitoring program admissions avoided
  • Point of Care Innovative Technologies Trial (PoCiTT) home monitoring program activity
  • Acute inpatient activity
  • Targets were met across all triage levels.
  • Targets were met.
  • 1,333 telerehabilitation consultations were held in inpatient and ambulatory settings across the Digital Telehealth Network or other therapeutic applications.
  • 206 admissions and 96 emergency department presentations were avoided (consisted of 113 clients and 13,444 occasions of service).
  • 150 clients with chronic conditions were supported through PoCiTT. 1,831 point of care tests and 706 quality controls were performed in general practice.
  • 64,256 same-day patients and 50,137 overnight patients were admitted, and 3,525 babies were delivered.
Continuous improvement of quality and safety
  • Safety assessment code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents
  • There were 128 (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents, compared to 114 last year (a 12% increase).
  • Overall, there was an 8% increase in reporting of patient incidents, with SAC 1 and 2 incidents accounting for 0.7% of all incidents reported.
Aboriginal health programs
  • Trachoma or trichiasis screening
  • Aboriginal health – Left ED at own risk
  • Aboriginal percentage of workforce
  • All at risk communities were screened for trachoma or trichiasis. 100% of children diagnosed with active trachoma treated.
  • 2.4% (target less than 4.5%).
  • 2.05% in June 2019 compared to 1.87% in June 2018.
Improving mental health outcomes
  • 28-day readmission rate
  • Percentage of mental health clients seen by a community health service within 7 days of discharge
  • Physical restraint and seclusion incidents per 1,000 bed days
  • 10% (target <12%).
  • 89% (target 60%).
  • 1.9 incidents per 1,000 bed days.
Aged care
  • Residential aged care occupancy
  • Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) assessments
  • Home Care Package occupancy rates
  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) client numbers
  • 90.8%.
  • Approximately 4,500 ACAP assessments completed.
  • Occupancy rates increased from 552 to 713, a 29% increase.
  • 15,755 CHSP clients, enabling older people to remain independent in their own home for longer.

Corporate performance summary

Country Health SA achieved key corporate performance outcomes including:

  • holding current accreditation status against National Safety and Quality Health Service standards, Australian Aged Care Quality Agency standards and Commonwealth Home Care Standards
  • commencing planning and implementation of significant capital investments, including:
    • $11.4 million ($7.5 million state, $3.9 million federal) funding for new 36-bed aged care facility at Strathalbyn
    • $7.0 million funding for the Murray Bridge emergency department upgrade
    • $2.1 million funding for Mount Gambier renal dialysis upgrade
  • investing in existing assets to address important repairs/maintenance in country hospitals including:
    • $4.0 million on minor works and compliance such as upgraded fire, theatre, air-conditioning and security systems
    • $3.8 million on further asset sustainment, such as upgraded communications and major electrical equipment
  • investing $2.8 million in biomedical equipment to upgrade scope systems and equipment, monitoring systems, phacoemulsification machines, ventilators, anaesthetic machines, incubators and microscopes at various country hospitals
  • meeting the target for employees having an annual performance review and development discussion
  • meeting the target for the rate of new workplace injury claims
  • providing 476 occasions of training through the Country Allied Health Clinical Education Program (CAHCEP)
  • 117 nurses completing the Emergency Nurse and Midwifery Education (ENAME) course, with 135 nurses completing an update course
  • implementing the Country Health SA Reconciliation Action Plan for 2018-2020, including updates and resources to support the staff selection procedure
  • 72% of Country Health SA staff understanding the values of the organisation, based on the 2018 “ I Work for SA ” staff survey
  • the 2018 South Australian Consumer Experience Surveillance System recording above 90% results for the organisation in relation to different parts of care, clinical knowledge and skills, overall quality, pain relief and clinical treatment associated with unexpected harm/distress.

Employment opportunity programs

Flexibility for the Future

Under the Flexibility for the Future Program, Country Health SA placed 4 new trainees in 2018-19 (1 at South Coast, 1 at Mount Barker and 2 at Gawler). All trainees placed identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Aboriginal Employment Program

Through Aboriginal employment initiatives, Country Health SA employed 56 people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Enrolled Nurse Cadet Program

During 2018-19, 18 students commenced the program, with two identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This targeted recruitment strategy continues to be successful, offering a training and employment pathway for rural people to commence their health career.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance review and development is a process for supporting continuous improvement of the work performance of employees to assist them to meet the organisation’s values and objectives.

81% of employees had a performance review and development discussion.

Work health and safety, and return to work programs

Prevention and management of musculoskeletal injury (MSI)

Includes manual task local facilitator model. Achieved a 22% decrease in MSI claims (111 compared to 143 the previous year).

Prevention and management of psychological injury

Includes collaboration between the Work Health and Safety, Injury Management and Human Resources teams and senior managers. Achieved a 16% decrease in psychological claims (21 compared to 25 the previous year).

Prevention and management of slips, trips and falls (ST&Fs)

Includes release of ST&Fs package. Achieved a 27% decrease in ST&Fs claims (33 compared to 45 the previous year).

Prevention and management of slips, trips and falls
Workplace injury claims 2018-19 2017-18 % change (+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims 203 281 -28%
Fatalities 0 0 Not applicable
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 Not applicable
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1,000 FTE) 24.0 15.6 +35%

*This is defined as the number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5).

Work health and safety regulations
Work health and safety regulations 2018-19 2017-18 % change (+ / -)
Number of notifiable incidents ( Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 26 22 +18%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices ( Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Sections 90, 191 and 195 ) 13 0 +1300%

Return to work costs
Return to work costs** 2018-19 2017-18 % change (+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) $4,390,822 $3,704,656 +19%
Income support payments – gross ($) $1,208,163 $1,275,532 -5%

**before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at:

Executive employment in the agency

Executive employment in the agency
Executive classification Number of executives
SAES1 10

Data for previous years is available at:

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Financial performance

Financial performance at a glance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2018-19 are attached to this report.

Financial performance at a glance
Statement of Comprehensive Income 2018-19 Budget $000s 2018-19 Actual $000s Variation $000s 2017-18 Actual $000s
Expenses 929,221 982,869 (53,648) 910,075
Revenues 214,240 226,311 12,071 224,576
Net cost of providing services 714,981 756,558 (41,577) 685,499
Net Revenue from SA Government 688,446 706,378 (17,932) 661,476
Net result (26,535) (50,180) (23,645) (24,023)
Total Comprehensive Result (26,535) (50,046) (23,511) 36,720

Statement of Financial Position
Statement of Financial Position 2018-19 Budget $000s 2018-19 Actual $000s Variation $000s 2017-18 Budget $000s 2017-18 Actual $000s
Current assets 0 144,832 144,832 148,728
Non-current assets 0 842,280 842,280 872,552
Total assets 0 987,112 987,112 1,021,280
Current liabilities 0 196,562 (196,562) 192,758
Non-current liabilities 0 124,599 (124,599) 112,819
Total liabilities 0 321,161 (321,161) 305,577
Net assets 0 665,951 (665,951) 715,703
Equity 0 665,951 (665,951) 715,703

Consultants disclosure

The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the financial year.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each
Consultancies Purpose Actual payment
All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined  Various $2,815

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each
Consultancies Purpose Actual payment
Standards Wise (trading as Babyboomers Pty Ltd)  Residential aged care clinical audits $296,948
James Underwood and Associates Pty Ltd Assistance with completion of Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) 2018-19 residential places application $62,417
Stewart Brown Professional fees in relation to the Kalimna aged care facility site options (Strathalbyn) $30,000
AsiaAustralis Keith and District Hospital Review $25,000
Flinders University Research to evaluate the effectiveness, appropriateness, suitability and success of the rural generalist program for rural South Australia and to also research more broadly a range of workforce and health service delivery outcomes $25,000
Pavilion Health Services Audit and reporting on coding services at Port Augusta Hospital $13,750
  Total $453,115

Data for the past five years is available at:

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.

See also for a list of all external consultancies, including nature of work and value.

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the SA Public Sector.

Contractors disclosure

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the financial year.

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000
Contractors Purpose Actual payment
All contractors below $10,000 each - combined Various $465,907

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000
Contractors Purpose Actual payment
HCA - Healthcare Australia Registered nurses, enrolled nurses and care workers $3,233,155
Rural Locum Scheme Pty Ltd Registered nurse, enrolled nurse and allied health agency staff $1,102,049
Your Nursing Agency Pty Ltd Agency staff $758,306
Global Medics Pty Ltd Agency staff $259,948
Babyboomers Pty Ltd Nurse advisor and administrator service $203,694
Australian Network Solutions Trust Staff to assist with the CATCH, My Health PoCiTT and POCT programs $130,180
Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd Country Health Asset Sustainment Program - project management support $129,880
NSW Business Chamber Ltd Agency staff $104,209
Cornerstone Recruitment Pty Ltd Agency staff $103,324
Boandik Lodge Inc Transition Care Program / End of Life Choices funding $101,372
Randstad Pty Limited Agency staff $93,954
Flinders University E-health research $84,664
Avancii Financial and corporate analyst $73,800
Victoria Road Medical Clinic Chief obstetric consultant $69,654
Cornerstone Medical Recruitment Agency staff $68,491
Resthaven Inc Transition Care Program / day therapy services $66,684
Hudson Global Resources (Aust) Pty Limited Internal auditor $62,067
Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service Inc Aged care services $59,755
Medrecruit Pty Ltd Agency staff $57,496
Homecare Plus Personal care and domestic assistance $46,072
Allied Employment Group Pty Ltd Agency staff $43,756
Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) Pty Limited Agency staff $42,285
System Solutions Engineering Pty Ltd Engineering services $32,708
Matthew Flinders Home Inc Social support group, Transition Care Program $30,601
The Clare Medical Services Trust Committee work $30,587
Lifestyle Assistance and Accommodation Service Disability Ageing Lifestyle Project (DALP) client support $29,101
Maxima Training Services Agency staff $28,740
Kemp Recruitment Agency staff $25,604
Orana Australia Limited Agency staff $24,777
Prime Medical Placements Pty Ltd Agency staff $24,661
Mintoneast And Associates Pty Ltd Budget pressures and efficiencies project $23,650
Community Living Australia Ltd In home and social support $22,889
Future Information Management Pty Ltd QC Health initial set-up fee and audit subscription $20,400
Mediserve Nursing Agency Agency staff $18,262
HG Leadership Pty Ltd Executive leasing $18,000
Clare Medical Centre Committee work $17,720
Sharyn's Art Services provided for Country Health Connect clients $16,770
Medstaff (Division of McArthur (SA) Pty Ltd) Nursing and aged care services $16,566
Enhanced Ability Remedial therapy $16,345
Carers and Disability Link Respite services $15,698
Advance Physiotherapy Pty Ltd Physiotherapy services $15,120
Senior Helpers Adelaide Northern Respite services $14,243
Reflexion Health and Fitness Fitness class instructor fees $13,250
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Whyalla asbestos project $12,500
Riverland Respite and Recreation Service Disability Ageing Lifestyle Project (DALP) client support $12,207
Kompletecare Community And Home Care Services Personal care, domestic assistance, respite care $12,173
Stewartbrown Aged care financial performance survey and benchmark service $10,880
Bizzy Cleaning Services provided for Country Health Connect clients $10,210
Active Retirement Services AEP Services (accredited exercise physiologist) $10,000
Individual contractors above $10,000 each – combined Client services $509,211
  Total $7,927, 668

Data for previous years is available at:

See also for a list of all external consultancies, including nature of work and value.

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the SA Public Sector.

The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website. View the agency list of contracts.

The website also provides details of across government contracts.

Other information

Not applicable.

Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

Not applicable.

Fraud detected in the agency

Fraud detected in the agency
Category/nature of fraud Number of instances
Nil 0

NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

Country Health SA processes implemented to help control and prevent fraud include the following:

  • An annual financial controls self-assessment review was undertaken to ensure that controls are in place to avoid fraud.
  • Organisational finances were reviewed monthly by the Performance Committee chaired by the Chief Operating Officer.
  • Outstanding debts and debt write-offs were reviewed regularly by the Corporate Governance Committee chaired by the Executive Director of Corporate Services.
  • A Risk Management and Audit Committee made up of independent members reviewed any instances of fraud reported to the Independent Commission Against Corruption and to the Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Risk and Audits Branch and provided advice directly to the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Fraud and corruption risks were reviewed, updated and submitted to the Risk Management and Audit Committee.

Data for previous years is available at:

Whistle-blowers disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993:

Nil (0)

Data for previous years is available at:

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Act or regulation  Nil
Requirements  Not applicable

Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

Country Health SA had a staff orientation and induction program and a mandatory staff training program that ensured staff are educated about the Carers Charter.

Country Health SA had a comprehensive consumer engagement strategy and regularly consulted with health advisory councils, the Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia and other representative groups when developing policies and programs that affect consumers or carers when undertaking strategic or operational planning.

Country Health SA actively encouraged consumer and carer engagement in health services and actively sought feedback from consumers and carers about the services that we provided.

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported (as required by the Ombudsman)

A whole of SA Health response will be provided in the 2018-19 Department for Health and Wellbeing Annual Report, which can be accessed on the SA Health website.

Additional metrics
Complaint categories Sub-categories Example 2018-19
Professional behaviour Staff attitude Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency Not applicable
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided Not applicable
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge Not applicable
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer Not applicable
Communication Confidentiality Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly Not applicable
Service delivery Systems/technology System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design Not applicable
Service delivery Access to services Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities Not applicable
Service delivery Process Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive Not applicable
Policy Policy application Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given Not applicable
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer Not applicable
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose Not applicable
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English Not applicable
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met Not applicable
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness Not applicable
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations Not applicable
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate Not applicable
    Total Not applicable

Additional metrics
Additional metrics Total
Total number of feedback comments Not applicable
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes Not applicable

Data for previous years is available at:

Further information is available in the SA Health Patient Safety Report and SA Health Patient Safety Report for Consumers and the Community, which are available from the Safety and Quality Reports page.

Service improvements for period

Health advisory councils continued to have a critical role in their local communities. The value this systematic local engagement can bring to country health services was highly regarded in Country Health SA.

A Partnership Framework for Health Advisory Councils and Country Health SA was collaboratively implemented, acknowledging the special role that health advisory councils play in their local communities and the value this systematic local engagement can bring to country health services.

The Aboriginal Health Experts by Experience Register comprises 141 Aboriginal people of differing ages and gender who continue to inform and guide regional culturally competent service provision. Focussed effort commenced to attract more Aboriginal participation as part of the seamless transition to the new regional LHNs.

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2018-19 (PDF 2.5MB)