Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Annual Report 2019-2020

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc
Maddern Street, BERRI SA 5343
www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/riverlandmalleecooronglhn

Contact phone number: (08) 8580 2400
Contact email: Health.RMCOCEOCorrespondence@sa.gov.au
ISSN: 2652-6697

Date presented to Minister: 30 September 2020

To:

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 Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc by:

Wayne Champion
Chief Executive Officer
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc

Dr Peter Joyner
Chair Governing Board
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc

Date - 29 September 2020

From the Governing Board Chair

The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc was established 1 July 2019 following the devolution of the former Country Health SA Local Health Network Inc and the formation of six regional Local Health Networks.

The 2019-2020 financial year has been exciting as well as challenging for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network.

As the inaugural year, the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board officially commenced 1 July 2019 with six highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable Board members. I have been privileged to Chair the Governing Board that, under the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Act 2018, is required to be skills based with experience and expertise in fields including health management, clinical governance, commercial management, finance, legal, provision of health services, and knowledge or experience in relation to Aboriginal health.

The Governing Board appointed Wayne Champion as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and welcomed the creation of a new Executive Team that has brought together a diverse and experienced group of people both from within the former Region and from other areas of the former Country Health SA Local Health Network Inc and SA Health. The local and corporate history within the Executive Team has been an asset for the new Network.

From a governance perspective, initial tasks centred on establishing protocols and procedures for ensuring good governance. Board committees for Finance, Clinical Governance and Audit and Risk were established to assist the Governing Board in these important areas and terms of reference developed. The Board adopted the policies and procedures, plans and frameworks of the former Country Health SA Local Health Network to facilitate a smooth transition to the new organisation. Over time, these will be reviewed and updated to reflect the new governance arrangements.

The inaugural year has been rewarding but also challenging with the Governing Board committing resources to address identified deficiencies in residential aged care with the Barmera facility failing to achieve accreditation prior to the commencement of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network. The changes that have been implemented to achieve the required standards have been significant and I thank all of the staff for their efforts.

The other unexpected and unprecedented challenge has been experienced around the world as we came to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Incident Management team has led the Network through this extremely difficult time and I cannot thank all of the staff of the Network enough for their continued efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Under the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Act 2018, the Governing Board is required to develop and publish both a Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy and a Clinician Engagement Strategy. The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board determined that the clinician strategy would need to be broader and was developed as a Clinician and Workforce Engagement Strategy. A working group was formed to assist the development of the Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy with membership comprising consumers of acute, community heath, disability and mental health services, the Aboriginal community and Health Advisory Council representation.

Despite the advent of COVID-19 that led to some limitations in relation to public forums I am proud that we explored other strategies, including social media, and were able to complete both strategies that were approved at the 25 June 2020 Governing Board meeting.

The Governing Board has also held planning sessions to progress the development of a Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Strategic Plan. To the end of June 2020, the Board has endorsed our purpose and values and agreed on broad strategic themes that will guide the Network into the future. Further work and community consultation will be undertaken in 2020-21 to complete the Strategic Plan.

To celebrate the achievements of our staff, contracted workers, partners, volunteers and Health Advisory Councils, the Governing Board was delighted to be part of the assessment panels culminating in the inaugural Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Awards. COVID-19 restrictions meant the finalists and winners were announced through a ‘virtual’ event and we look forward to holding a celebratory event when COVID-19 restrictions allow.

The 2019-20 year has been a formative year for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board. We look forward to continuing to work with the Executive team, staff and clinicians along with our consumers and the community as we continue to develop safe, high quality services that meet the needs of our communities.

Dr Peter Joyner
Chair Governing Board
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc

From the Chief Executive Officer

It is a great pleasure to present this, the first Annual Report for Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc (RMCLHN). RMCLHN was established on 1 July 2019 following the devolution of the former Country Health SA Local Health Network Inc and the formation of six regional Local Health Networks (LHNs).

The 2019-20 financial year has been exciting and rewarding. It has also been very challenging for health systems around the world, due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Within RMCLHN, our dedicated staff have adapted to the evolving situation and emergency management directions, and continue to provide the best possible care and support to our patients, consumers and communities during this very trying and frightening time. I thank all our staff, medical officers and the community for their continued support, cooperation and commitment.

Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, I am pleased to report that the Network was able to develop and publish both a Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy and a Clinician and Workforce Engagement Strategy. In accordance with the legislative requirement, the Governing Board approved both strategies on 25 June 2020. The Governing Board has also made significant progress in developing a Strategic Plan for RMCLHN and we look forward to working with the community and staff to finalise the Plan in 2020-21.

Promoting our new organisation in the community, and keeping our consumers informed, has been a priority and I am pleased that we were the first regional LHN to establish our own Facebook page that has proved to be a valuable tool for communicating, consulting and engaging with our communities. The advent of COVID-19 further highlighted this with our reach rapidly expanding as the community accessed our Facebook page for up to date information.

The LHN underwent various accreditation processes during the year. The organisation-wide survey against the new National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards took place only a few months out from the commencement of RMCLHN. The achievement of our three-year accreditation is a testament to the hard work of the Governing Board, the Executive and all of our staff. RMCLHN also achieved accreditation against the National Disability Insurance Scheme Practice Standards during the year.

Our aged care services have been under scrutiny by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. The Barmera facility was assessed prior to the commencement of RMCLHN with a significant number of ‘not mets’ against the old Aged Care Quality Standards. RMCLHN has invested significant resources to address the identified issues, with various visits from the Commission during the year, and an amazing turnaround in the services we provide to residents under our care.

I thank the staff, consumers and community for the way this has been achieved. Many of the improvements identified in Barmera have been applied across all of the aged care facilities in RMCLHN.

It has been wonderful to see the Murray Bridge Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Emergency Department (ED) redevelopment taking shape throughout the year. The first phase of the $12.5 million project saw the opening of the new Central Sterile Supply Department and upgraded theatres in November 2019. Construction of the new ED itself is now well underway and I look forward to its completion in 2020-21. Further redevelopment work has also commenced at the Riverland General Hospital in Berri to build a new $2 million Magnetic Imaging Resonance (MRI) Unit that will accommodate a $1.5 million MRI machine.

Another highlight of the year was the inaugural RMCLHN Awards. The finalists and winners were celebrated on 30 June 2020 at an all staff forum linking all sites via videoconference given the COVID-19 restrictions. The award categories were: Person Centred; RMC - Respectful, Motivated and Compassionate; Inspired Innovation; Excellence in Aboriginal Health; Excellence in Clinical Care; Excellence in Non-Clinical Services; Area of Focus 2020 – Accreditation; Young Achiever; Nurse/Midwife of 2020; Outstanding Contribution to RMCLHN by general practitioners, contractors and partners, and; Outstanding Contribution to RMCLHN by Health Advisory Council members and volunteers. The Awards provided a great opportunity to highlight some of the many achievements of staff, volunteers and partners in the delivery of health services across the region, and have been highlighted through the RMCLHN Facebook page.

After a very challenging 12 months, RMCLHN finished the financial year in a less than favourable position. This is primarily as a result of the resources required to address the aforementioned aged care issues, the increasing costs associated with changing models for the provision of medical services and the costs involved in responding to COVID-19.

Looking ahead, 2020-21 will no doubt also be an interesting and challenging year. There is an ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and there are several challenges as we look to review and revitalise the medical workforce models that are in place in our two larger hospitals. I wish to thank the RMCLHN Governing Board for their enthusiasm, and the knowledge and skills they bring to our organisation. I also want to thank the Executive Team for their support throughout the year. Most importantly, I acknowledge and thank all staff, volunteers, contractors and partner organisations for their commitment to ensuring RMCLHN continues to provide safe, high quality services for our communities.

Wayne Champion
Chief Executive Officer
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc

Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose Our people caring for our communities
We will work together to care for local communities.

We will support people in the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network region to have the best possible quality of life, by providing high quality care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection.
Our Vision Aged Care
We will support older people to have the best possible quality of life in a safe and home like environment, while providing high quality care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection.

Mental Health

We will support people in our communities to have the best possible quality of life by providing high quality care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection. Community

Health

We will support people in our communities to have the best possible quality of life in their own home, while providing high quality care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection.

Aboriginal Health

We will support Aboriginal people to have the best possible quality of life by providing high quality, culturally appropriate care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection.

Acute Care
We will support people in our communities to have the best possible quality of life by providing high quality care that promotes dignity, respect, choice, independence and social connection.
Our Values ‘RMC CARES’

Respectful - We treat everyone as equals and value each other’s sense of worth.

Motivated -
We are driven to excel and provide the best quality care to our consumers and communities, when and where they need it. 

Compassionate -
We take care of others and act with kindness, empathy, patience and understanding.

Consumer Focussed - We partner and collaborate with our consumers, their families, carers and communities, to ensure the planning, delivery and evaluation of our health services is tailored to their needs.

Accountable - We are dedicated to fulfilling our duties and obligations as a public health service, and endeavour to act with honesty and integrity in all that we do.

Resourceful -
We are agile, adaptable and able to deal skilfully, creatively and promptly with new situations and challenges.

Excellence -
We will strive to continually improve and refine processes, exceed standards and expectations, and deliver access to high quality contemporary health care for people in our communities.

Service -
We serve people and our communities courteously, fairly and effectively.
Our functions, objectives and deliverables The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network provides a wide range of public acute, residential aged care, community health and mental health services to residents of the Riverland, and the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong areas of South Australia, extending east to the Victorian Border. The key strategic themes for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network are
  • Caring for our Communities
  • Excellence in Clinical Care
  • Local Governance
  • Investing in our People
In the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network we strive to:
  • Provide safe, high-quality health and aged care services.
  • Engage with the local community and local clinicians.
  • Ensure consumer 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 relevant legislation, regulations, Department for Health and Wellbeing policies, and agreements.

Our organisational structure

Changes to the agency

During 2019-20 there were the following changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of internal reviews or machinery of government changes.

  • Through governance reform the Country Health SA Local Health Network was dissolved on 30 June 2019 and the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network became an entity on 1 July 2019.
  • From 1 July 2019 the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network had established its Chief Executive Officer and Governing Board.

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 2020 the Executive team consisted of:

Chief Executive Officer – Wayne Champion

The Chief Executive Officer is accountable to the Governing Board for the provision, management and administration of health services and achieving the overall performance of the public health system for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network. The position manages operational planning, implementation, staffing, budgets and resources to ensure the provision of coordinated health services for the overall performance of the Network. The position provides operational leadership to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and is responsible for the sound governance and management of the Network.

Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery – Karen Hollitt

The role provides professional nursing advice and has leadership of nursing across Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network. The role provides strategic, transformational and innovative leadership, governance, and direction for the Network. The focus is to deliver the highest quality of care through the development and implementation of frameworks and systems within which Nursing/Midwifery employees practice, and on monitoring and evaluating clinical practice and service delivery standards. The position has responsibility and accountability for Quality and Safety, and Clinical Governance.

Executive Director Community and Allied Health – Brett Webster

The role is responsible for managing the Country Health Connect and Community Health Services, including allied health services across all care settings and for the planning, development and maintenance of systems to support the delivery of services. It is also responsible for the operational management of Commonwealth funded Aboriginal Primary Health services in the Riverland.

A/Executive Director Medical Services – Dr Tim Smart

The role is responsible for medical standards, ethics and education and participates in the development of planning, policies and processes requiring broad medical advice and management. The position is responsible for assessment and evaluation of new services, procedures and interventions and provides medical consultancy advice. The role contributes to the overall management of research and ethics.

Director Mental Health – Simon Moody

The role has responsibility for the operational delivery, service planning, quality and safety of Mental Health Services in the Local Health Network across the spectrum from community, ambulatory and inpatient services. The Director is responsible for the leadership and management of an effective, integrated mental health strategy and service plan which is responsive to the mental health reform agenda for rural South Australia.

Chief Finance Officer – Craig Lukeman

The role is the senior financial executive in the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network, with responsibility for the provision of comprehensive financial services across the Network. The position contributes to the leadership, performance and strategic direction setting for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network to ensure the Network achieves its strategic performance targets as per the Health Performance Agreement with the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

Director Corporate Services – Michael Rohde

The role ensures performance, strategic leadership and management of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network contracts, health intelligence services and the development of Service Level Agreements for the provision of services provided by other agencies for procurement and ICT functions. The position ensures strategic and commercial review of key service contracts across the Network and ensures major contracts are successfully operationalised and performance reviewed along with ensuring effective operation of corporate governance activities including internal audit, business continuity, planning and compliance.

Director Aboriginal Health – Sharon Perkins

The role is responsible for initiating, planning, implementing, coordinating and delivering Aboriginal Health programs across the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and providing high-level strategic leadership in expanding concepts and programs throughout. The position is required to provide expert analysis of diverse data sources and undertake research in order to develop policies, plans, structures and projects that impact on service delivery. The position is responsible for ensuring appropriate models of community and stakeholder consultation are developed to further improve health outcomes.

Director People and Culture – Jenny Edwards

The role is responsible for leading and managing the delivery of best practice human resources services, implementing proactive workforce strategies and interventions to drive continuous improvement, performance and accountability and a culture that assures the achievement of the organisational workforce goals and objectives. The position is responsible for maintaining a strategic focus whilst demonstrating strong leadership and providing expert professional advice to leadership and senior management on human resource trends and risks, and support on complex matters. 

Manager Secretariat – Jeanette Brown

The role is accountable for the provision of high quality and timely support to the Chief Executive Officer and executive support to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board and its committees. The position is also responsible for the delivery of Office of the Chief Executive Officer functions including project management, ministerials, performance analysis, communications and Freedom of Information.

Senior Allied Health Advisor – Ruth Adamson

The role provides clinical input to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network through participation in key leadership and governance groups. The primary role is to provide advice and support to ensure that allied health clinical requirements are considered in all aspects of the Network’s governance. 

Quality, Risk and Safety Manager – Anne McKinlay

The role is responsible for providing strategic leadership, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Quality, Risk and Safety management systems. The position actively promotes and encourages quality principles across Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network that foster a culture of continuous quality improvement and service excellence linked to strategic, operational and departmental specific plans.

Manager Special Projects – Zia Earl

The role is responsible for significant and complex projects that support the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s strategies, including project management, change management, planning, project development, and management, co-ordination and evaluation for significant planning initiatives. It provides advice and consultancy services related to statewide projects and operational issues that impact regional South Australia. The position is responsible for the development of strategic plans and projects that contribute to the overall efficiency, effectiveness and improvement of business processes, systems and information technology operations within the Network.

Our Governing Board

Dr Peter Joyner OAM (Chair)

Dr Peter Joyner is a General Practitioner in Mannum where he started in 1976, providing GP services as well as anaesthetic, surgical and obstetric services. In 2007, Country Health SA brought in active GPs into its administration and Peter was appointed as the first GP Consultant covering the area of Emergency Medicine. In 2009, he became the first GP employed and became Director Emergency Services for Country Health SA. He retired from this position in 2017 to free up his total medical time. Since 2009, Peter has been the Chair of the Adelaide to Outback General Practice (AOGP).

Elaine Ashworth (member)

Elaine Ashworth is a resident of Berri and her background is in physiotherapy and she has spent many years working in a range of clinical and management positions in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and the United Kingdom. Most of this time has been spent in rural and remote health management. She retired from the position of Principal Allied Health Advisor for Country Health SA Local Health Network in 2015 and since then has enjoyed a good balance of recreation and freelance projects, consultancy and locum work.

Claudia Goldsmith (member)

Claudia Goldsmith has a career based on a mix of non-executive director board positions and management consultancy focussing on financial management, governance reviews and risk identification and management. She has qualifications in social sciences and accounting, is a Certified Practicing Accountant and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Claudia is a resident of Port Elliot and brings finance and governance experience to the Board.

Shane Mohor (member)

Shane Mohor is Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Health Council of SA. He has worked in Aboriginal health as a Registered Nurse (including remote Kimberley work, hospital and forensic health), as a Senior Executive in government, university and non-government organisations for over 25 years in South Australia and interstate. Shane is passionate about working in the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector and is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people, including the advancement of employment for Aboriginal people.

Melanie Ottaway (member)

Melanie Ottaway is an experienced Executive Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the not-for-profit sector. Her current position is Executive Manager Aged Care for Uniting Communities. Skilled in negotiation, not-for-profit organisations, operations management, coaching, and quality management, Melanie brings strong aged and community care experience. Melanie is a Registered Nurse and holds a Master of Nursing and a Masters of Business Administration. Melanie resides in the Adelaide Hills and is passionate about the future of health services and ensuring a high standard of care is delivered to rural communities.

Fred Toogood (member)

Fred Toogood is a former small business owner and is an elected member of the Rural City of Murray Bridge. Fred has served on the Audit Committee, Safe Taskforce and Strategic Planning and Policy Committee of the Rural City of Murray Bridge Council. Murray Bridge has been his family home for over 60 years and he conducted a small business in Murray Bridge over a period of 42 years. His community work has included 31 years on the Murray Bridge Hospital Board, Member of the Hills Mallee Southern Regional Health Board, President of Mobilong Rotary and Member of the Chamber of Commerce. Fred has also been on the Risk and Audit committee of the Council. Fred has strong community connections and previous health governance experience.


Legislation administered by the agency

Nil

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

  • Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network Inc
  • Central Adelaide Local Health Network Inc
  • Eyre and Far North Local Health Network Inc
  • Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Inc
  • Limestone Coast Local Health Network Inc
  • Northern Adelaide Local Health Network Inc
  • Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Inc
  • Women’s and Children’s Health Network Inc
  • Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Inc
  • South Australian Ambulance Service

The agency’s performance

Performance at a glance

In 2019-20 Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Inc achieved key performance areas including:

  • Meeting targets for all emergency department ‘seen on time’ triage categories.
  • Meeting targets in elective surgery ‘admitted on time’ for the first three quarters 2019-20. Fourth quarter data does not meet the target due to theatre closure attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Meeting targets in emergency department ‘left at own risk’.
  • Meeting targets in emergency department ‘length of stay greater than 24 hours’.
  • Meeting targets for ‘percentage emergency department patients re-presenting within 48 hours.
  • Meeting targets for Mental Health services including post discharge community follow up rate, seclusion and restraint episode rates.
  • Meeting all targets for Safety assessment code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents that are openly disclosed (unless declined or deferred).
  • Eighty percent of complaints acknowledged within two working days.
  • Successful accreditation against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards achieved by Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network in 2010-20 for a three-year period.
  • Successful National Disability Insurance Scheme Practice Standards Accreditation achieved by Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network in 2019-20.
  • Current accreditation status of Residential Aged Care facilities in Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network:
Name of Service Current Status Rating
Bonney Lodge 6149
Hawdon House 6005
Hills Mallee Southern Aged Care Facility 6178
Loxton District Nursing Home 6405
Loxton Hostel for the Aged 6064
Renmark & Paringa District Hospital Hostel 6075
Renmark Nursing Home 6936
Improvements needed
Improvements needed
Meets requirements
Improvements needed
Meets requirements
Meets requirements
Meets requirements
3/4
3/4
4/4
3/4
4/4
4/4
4/4
  • Development of an RMCLHN Aged Care Performance monitoring framework.
  • Delivering investment on capital upgrades and equipment in Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network.
  • Delivering services tailored specifically to the needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as the Tumake Yande Elders Program, Aboriginal Family Birthing Program, Aboriginal Health Team in the Riverland and new Aboriginal Liaison Officer positions for the Riverland.
  • Growing treatment services closer to home including:
    • The employment of 0.5 FTE medical oncologist at Riverland General Hospital enabling greater access to chemotherapy services.
    • Post surgery hand therapy.
    • Ambulatory wound clinic.
    • Dry needling in physiotherapy.
    • Enhanced diabetes monitoring.
    • Enhanced gym facilities and equipment for the enhancement of programs that will drive wellness and lifestyle changes for Aboriginal consumers.
    • Enhanced telehealth in the Mallee to meet the needs of palliative, rehabilitation and antenatal and postnatal consumers.
  • Delivering community, in-home and residential services through Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Country Health Connect.
  • Effectively implementing the governance reforms to the public health system through the establishment of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and the transition of governance arrangements to Governing Boards from 1 July 2019.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Key objective Agency’s contribution
More jobs Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network contributed to the development of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy with the Rural Support Service. The strategy will contribute 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 general practitioners in rural communities.
  • Expanding training opportunities for community support workers.
  • Providing mental health education for suicide prevention and patient management.
  • Supporting the community nursing workforce to manage more complex clients in rural areas.
Lower costs Costs for consumers were reduced through delivering programs such as:
  • The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme and the Riverland Transport Service.
  • Timely elective surgery in the Network.
  • Country Home Link.
  • Increasing access to telehealth services.
  • Home-based chronic disease monitoring including cardiac, respiratory, diabetes, musculoskeletal, paediatric and aged related chronic diseases and comorbidities.
Better services Significant service outcomes achieved included:
  • Development of acute stroke treatment services at Riverland General Hospital.
  • Upgrading of equipment to support the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES), ensuring rural GPs and nurses have access to remote medical support overnight when required.
  • Increasing access to the Digital Telehealth Network and teleconference consultation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Increasing access to cancer services at Riverland General Hospital enabling patients to receive more complex chemotherapy treatment closer to home.
  • Redevelopment works commenced for the upgrade to the emergency department and Central Sterile Supply Department at Murray Bridge Soldier’s Memorial Hospital.
  • Redevelopment works commenced for the installation of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging unit at Riverland General Hospital.
  • Redevelopment works commenced for the Waikerie Health Services carpark, aged care rooms and hospital entrance.

Agency specific objectives and performance

Agency objectives Indicators Performance
Clinical Services Reform
  • Chemotherapy and cancer care activity.
  • Stroke neurologist support for RMCLHN hospitals
  • 811 chemotherapy treatments and 886 cancer specialist medical consultations were delivered at the Riverland General Hospital chemotherapy unit.
  • There were 55 patient episodes in 2019-20 where transfers were potentially avoided.
Improving access to health services in our community
  • Community nursing and allied health activity service activity
  • Avoidable hospital activity
  • Potentially preventable admissions
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program activity
  • Approximately 51,521 community nursing and allied health services were delivered to 5,747 individual clients.
  • 1,414 consumers with chronic conditions including cardiac, pulmonary and comorbidities, received increased community-based support, resulting in avoiding 149 hospital admissions, 76 emergency department presentations and 33 occupied bed days. There were also 25 clients with reduced length of stay.
  • There were 9.3 % potentially preventable admissions (target 8.5%).
  • There were 295 active clients in the NDIS program including 139 children and 156 adults
Hospital services
  • Emergency department presentations seen on time.
  • Emergency department length of stay less than or equal to 4 hours.
  • Elective surgery timely admissions – all categories.
  • Telerehabilitation consultations.
  • Acute inpatient activity.
  • Targets met across all triage levels.
  • Target > 90 % met in 2019-20.
  • All targets met in 2019-20.
  • 416 telerehabilitation consultations were held in inpatient and ambulatory settings for 115 consumers. 192 occasions of service were for inpatients and 224 occasions of service were ambulatory.
  • 8,403 same-day patients and 10,344 overnight patients were admitted, and 418 babies were delivered.
Continuous improvement of quality and safety
  • Safety assessment code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents.
  • Hospital acquired complications.
  • There were 34 SAC 1 and 2 incidents reported on SLS for 2019-20 (7 SAC 1 and 27 SAC 2 incidents).
  • Overall, SAC 1 and 2 incidents accounted for 0.92% of all incidents reported
  • 100% of SAC 1 and 2 incidents were openly disclosed in 2019-20.
  • There were 45 separations with hospital acquired complications. The funding impact was $41,563.
Aboriginal Health
  • Aboriginal Health – left emergency department at own risk
  • Aboriginal Health – left against medical advice (inpatient)
  • Aboriginal Family Birthing Program
  • Aboriginal percentage of workforce
  • 2.8% (target less than 3%) left the emergency department at own risk.
  • 8.5% (target less than 4.5%), left against medical advice.
  • There were 27 women in the Family Birthing Program in 2019-20, exceeding the target of 20 per year. 21 women birthed at Murray Bridge Hospital and 6 at other sites.
  • 2.4% of the workforce identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in 2019-20.
Improving mental health outcomes
  • 28-day readmission rate
  • Restraint incidents per 1,000 bed days
  • Seclusion incidents per 1,000 bed days
  • Percentage of Mental Health clients seen by a community health service within 7 days of discharge.
  • Average length of stay (ALOS).
  • Average emergency department waiting time.
  • The readmission rate was 8.44% in 2019-20 (Target < 12%).
  • There were 0 restraint incidents per 1,000 bed days
  • There were 0 seclusion incidents per 1,000 bed days
  • 92% of clients seen within 7 days (Target 80%).
  • The ALOS for 2019-20 was 11 (Target <14).
  • The average ED visit time for 2019-20 was 2.7 hours (Target < 6 hours)
Aged Care
  • Residential aged care (RAC) occupancy
  • Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) assessments
  • Home Care Package occupancy rates
  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) client numbers
  • 87% occupancy across RAC sites.
  • 661 ACAP assessments in 2019-20.
  • Occupancy rates increased from 186 to 226 from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, a 21.5% increase.
  • 2,492 CHSP clients received 80,081 occasions of service, enabling older people to remain independent in their own home for longer.

Corporate performance summary

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network achieved key performance outcomes including:

  • Accreditation against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, Aged Care Quality Standards and National Disability Insurance Scheme Practice Standards.
  • Supporting a large number of employees with professional development opportunities.
  • Meeting the target for employees having an annual performance review and development discussion.
  • Meeting the target for all employees having the required Criminal History and relevant screening.
  • Meeting the target for the rate of new workplace injury claims.
  • Adopting the Country Health SA Local Health Network Reconciliation Action Plan for 2018-2020 and commencing the development of a Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Planning and implementation of significant capital investments including the Murray Bridge Hospital emergency department and Central Sterile Supply Department upgrade. This $12.35 million project has been funded through the State Government Capital Funding ($7 million election commitment) and Asset Sustainment Fund ($5.35 million). The Waikerie Health Services commenced redevelopment work on the carpark, aged care rooms and hospital entrance with the $2.14 million project funded by the Waikerie and Districts Health Advisory Council Gift Fund Trust.
  • Investing in existing assets to address important repairs / maintenance including $0.3 million on minor works compliance such as upgraded fire, air conditioning and security systems, and $9.55 million on further asset sustainment projects.
  • Investing in $0.495 million in biomedical equipment.
  • The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Facebook page launched on 20 July 2019, and had 4,558 likes and 4,821 followers by the end of the financial year. It is the top performing regional Local Health Network Facebook page. During 2019-20, the highest daily total reach of 33,090 occurred in March, while the highest weekly and monthly reach during March and April, were 58,370 and 70,981 respectively. The highest number of people who engaged with the Facebook page on a single day was 7,022 in March, while the highest number of weekly and monthly engaged users was 12,065 and 15,023 respectively. The daily, weekly and monthly total impressions all hit their peak in March, at 56,170, 151,346 and 301,464 respectively.  

Employment opportunity programs

Program name Performance
Skilling SA Under the Skilling SA Program, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has supported one employee to undertake training relevant to their discipline undertaking Cert III in Individual Support.
Growing Leaders Under the Growing Leaders Training Program, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has supported 16 employees to undertake the Growing Leaders Program.
Manager Essentials Via the SA Leadership Academy, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has not previously supported staff to undertake this program, however, the 2020-21 round will see the support of five staff members.
MAPA Foundation Instructor Certificate Programme Under the Management of Actual or Potential Aggression (MAPA) Foundation Instructor Certificate Programme, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has supported three employees to undertake this program.
OCPSE Aboriginal Frontline Leadership Programme Under the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (OCPSE) Aboriginal Frontline Leadership Program, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has supported two employees to undertake this program.
OCPSE The Next Executives Programme Under the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (OCPSE) The Next Executives Programme, Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has supported two employees to undertake the Growing Leaders Program.
Enrolled Nurse Cadets During 2019-20, three EN Cadets commenced employment with the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network.
Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP) Nine Registered Nurses commenced employment as TPPP’s within the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network. This included four at RGH, two at Waikerie and Loxton and one at Renmark.
Aged Care Scholarship Program Loxton Health Advisory Council provided $6,175 scholarship funding to support 14 students undertaking Certificate III in Individual Support (Aging and Home and Community Care in 2019-20. Additionally, $5,000 was provided for a registered nurse undergraduate as first payment of a $10,000 scholarship over two years.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system Performance
Performance review and development supports continuous improvement of the work performance of employees to assist them to meet the organisation’s values and objectives. In 2019-20, 81.57% of staff had an annual performance review and development discussion. 48.18% of staff had a 6 monthly performance review and development discussion.
Mandatory Training Compliance As at 30 June 2020, the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded 84.5% compliance.
Criminal History and Relevant Screening compliance As at 30 June 2020, the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded 100% compliance.
Influenza Vaccination compliance As at 30 June 2020, the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded 78% overall compliance. Compliance per category is 80% compliance for Category A, 85% compliance for Category B and 54% compliance for Category C. From 1 May 2020, in accordance with COVID-19 Emergency Response legislation, all persons entering a residential aged care facility have been required to provide evidence of influenza vaccination.
The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network continues to foster a strong commitment to the recruitment and retainment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. As at 30 June 2020, 2.4% of employees within the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name Performance
Prevention and management of musculoskeletal injury Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded 16 new musculoskeletal injury (MSI) claims in 2019-20. New MSI injury claims accounted for 37.21% of new claims submitted.
Prevention and management of psychological injury Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded three new psychological injury (PSY) claims in 2019-20. New PSY claims accounted for 6.98% of new claims submitted.
Prevention and management of slips, trips and falls Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recorded nine new slips, trips and falls (STF) claims in 2019-20. New STF claims accounted for 20.93% of new claims submitted.

Workplace injury claims Current year
2019-20
Past year 2018-19 % Change
(+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims 43 60 -28.3%
Fatalities 0 0 0%
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 0%
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE) 13.80 24.66 - 44.0%

*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 Current year
2019-20
Past year 2018-19 % Change
(+ / -)
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 5 6 -16.7%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195) 0 0 0%


Return to work costs** Current year
2019-20
Past year 2018-19 % Change
(+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) $1,239,243 $1,020,261 +21.5%
Income support payments – gross ($) $238,943 $267,187 -10.6%

**before third party recovery

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives
SAES1 1
RN6A06 1
MD029G 1

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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. This is available at: https://www.publicsector.sa.gov.au/about/Our-Work/Reporting/Workforce-Information

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 2019-20 are attached to this report.

Statement of Comprehensive Income 2019-20 Budget $000s 2019-20 Actual $000s Variation $000s 2018-19 Actual $000s  *
Total Income 172,963 177,243 4,280 N/A
Total Expenses 165,313 173,415 (8,102) N/A
Net Result 7,650 3,828 (3,822) N/A
Total Comprehensive Result 7,650 3,828 (3,822) N/A


Statement of Financial Position 2019-20 Budget $000s 2019-20 Actual $000s Variation $000s 2018-19 Actual $000s
Current assets Not available 33,732 Not available N/A
Non-current assets Not available 161,156 Not available N/A
Total assets 0 194,888 0 N/A
Current liabilities 0 46,782 0 N/A
Non-current liabilities 0 20,358 0 N/A
Total liabilities 0 67,140 0 N/A
Net assets 0 127,748 0 N/A
Equity 0 127,748 0 N/A


* - As this is the first year of operation of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements, a comparison to the previous year is not applicable for 2019-20.

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 Purpose $ Actual payment
All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined Various $ 10,000

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

Consultancies Purpose $ Actual payment
Babyboomers Aged Care compliance $404,000
Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Accreditation $27,000
Duesterwald Consulting Strategic Planning $14,000
John Murray Consulting Investigation $21,000
Total $ 466,000

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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.

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 Purpose $ Actual payment
All contractors below $10,000 each - combined Various $ 11,000

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each

Contractors Purpose $ Actual payment
Nil   $ 0
  Total $ 0


This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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

The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board has established an Audit and Risk Committee with an independent external Chairperson to assist the Governing Board fulfil its responsibilities regarding risk management, audit and assurance.

The Audit and Risk Committee meets quarterly and receives regular risk reports from Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network as well as audit reports conducted by the Auditor-General’s office, Department for Health and Wellbeing, and Internal Audits by the Rural Support Service.

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network is in the process of implementing a Risk Management Framework which is consistent with the System-Wide Risk Management Policy Directive, providing staff with specific guidance on context, identification, analysis, evaluation, treatment, monitoring and communication of risk.

A consistent Internal Audit Charter has been developed by the Rural Support Service and endorsed by all regional Local Health Networks enabling the internal audit function to be delivered by the Rural Support Service. The Charter provides guidance and authority for audit activities.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud Number of instances
N/A 0

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

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board has established an Audit and Risk Committee and a Finance Committee to ensure oversight of operational process relating to risk of fraud. These committees meet on a regular basis and review reports regarding financial management, breaches and risk management. The Chair of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Audit and Risk Committee is an independent member and also liaises with SA Health’s Group Director Risk and Assurance Services.

The terms of reference for these sub-committees include:-

  • Advise on the adequacy of the financial statements and the appropriateness of the accounting practices used.
  • Monitor Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s compliance with its obligation to establish and maintain an internal control structure and systems of risk management, including whether Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has appropriate policies and procedures in place and is complying with them.
  • To monitor and advise the Board on the internal audit function in line with the requirements of relevant legislation.
  • Oversee Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s liaison with the South Australian Auditor-General’s Department in relation to Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s proposed audit strategies and plans including compliance to any performance management audits undertaken.
  • Assess external audit reports of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and the adequacy of actions taken by Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network as a result of the reports.
  • Monitor the adequacy of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s management of legal and compliance risks and internal compliance systems, including the effectiveness of the systems in monitoring compliance by Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network with relevant laws and government policies.
  • Assess Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s complex or unusual transactions or series of transactions or any material deviation from Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s budget.
  • Monitor the financial performance of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network.
  • Assess key performance and financial risks and review proposed mitigation strategies.
  • Provide the Governing Board with advice and recommendations on monitoring and assessment.
  • Review the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation in meeting its accountabilities as prescribed in the annual Service Agreement, including delivering against its strategies and objectives.

An annual financial controls self-assessment review was undertaken to ensure that controls are in place to avoid fraud.

The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Governing Board endorses all Policy Directives relating to SA Heath and the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network has implemented a Policy and Procedure Framework to ensure policies and procedures are reviewed and implemented through operational committees and structures. The SA Health Corruption Control Policy and Public Interest Disclosure Policy Directives are followed relating to risk of fraud. Any allegations of fraud, including financial delegation breaches, are reported to the Governing Board and Audit and Risk Committee. Shared Services SA provide a report to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Chief Finance Officer providing details of any expenditure that has occurred outside of procurement and approved delegations. These breaches are reviewed and reported to the Board.

All Governing Board members and staff with financial delegations are required to declare any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, and the register of interests is reviewed regularly by the Audit and Risk Committee. The Board register is a standing item at Board Meetings.

The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Board ensure that all employees complete SA Public Sector Code of Ethics training at orientation sessions.

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

Public interest disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018:

Nil (0)

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

Note:  Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Act or Regulation Requirement
Nil Not Applicable

Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network recognises the importance of unpaid carers through a commitment to ensuring better carer engagement in shared decision-making in its services. 

The SA Health Partnering with Carers Strategic Action Plan 2017-2020 is underpinned by the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005 and the South Australian Carers’ Charter. The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network also complies with the SA Health Partnering with Carers Policy Directive.

The key priorities under the Strategic Action Plan include:

  • Early identification and recognition
  • Carers are engaged as partners in care
  • Carers provide comments and feedback
  • Carer friendly workplace
  • Celebrate carers during National Carers Week
  • Staff education and training

The ‘Carer – Partnering with you’ web page provides carers with information.

In Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network, Lee Care (residential aged care patient information system) contains details for residential or respite patients. Carer and family members are involved in the initial assessment prior to entry into residential care. Short care plans are printed and placed in the consumer’s room. Carers are invited to contribute to the care plan. Care plans are updated quarterly with carers encouraged to contact the Nurse Unit Manager or Care staff as required seven days a week.

Carer information is displayed in all health sites on knowing your rights, medication safety, clinical communication, recognising and responding to clinical deterioration, pressure injury, falls, hand hygiene and infection control.

National Carers week is celebrated annually in October to raise awareness of the challenges faced by family carers.

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported

Complaint categories Sub-categories Example Number of Complaints 2019-20
Professional behaviour Staff attitude Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency 38
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided 15
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge Nil
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer 28
Communication Confidentiality Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly 17
Service delivery Systems/technology System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design 3
Service delivery Access to services Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities 26
Service delivery Process Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive 3
Policy Policy application Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given Nil
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer Nil
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose Nil
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English 2
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met 37
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness 29
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations 42
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate Nil
Treatment Treatment Diagnosis, testing, medication and other therapies provided, 78
Costs Cost Fees, discrepancies between advertised and actual costs, charges and rebates, and information about cost and fees 4
Administration Administrative services and processes Administrative processes such as clerical, reception, administrative record keeping and bookings/admission and lost property 9
Total 331


Additional Metrics Total
Number of positive feedback comments 423
Number of negative feedback comments 331
Total number of feedback comments 752
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes Acknowledged within 2 days = 93% Response provided < 35 working days = 88%

This is the first report of the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network following the changed governance arrangements. Data related to the former Country Health SA Local Health Network is available at:

https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/department-for-health-and-wellbeing

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019-20

Medical Imaging waiting times

  • Several complaints were received by South Australian Medical Imaging in Murray Bridge regarding waiting times. Additional radiology sessions were implemented to meet consumer demand.

Medication

  • Concern raised regarding poor communication and delay in receiving medication. As a result of the complaint, all consumer bedside lockers were replaced to include a locked drawer for consumer medication. This ensures their medications are available to be administered in a timely manner. Staff involved in the care of the consumer were counselled concerning effective communication.

Knowing who the staff are

  • Concerns were raised regarding not knowing who the senior nurses were at an Aged Care facility. A poster with all Nurse Unit Managers with their photos and extension numbers was developed and displayed for consumers.

Rolling screen infographic for all sites

  • Partnering with Consumers Working Group developed infographic information for sites to displaying highlighting consumer related experiences, health information and regional improvements.

Posters developed for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identification

  • Posters developed with the Aboriginal Health Committee utilising local photos and displayed at sites using health literacy principles to encourage Aboriginal consumers to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander to improve access to services. If a consumer identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, it provides the opportunity to ensure the care and services provided are both culturally and clinically appropriate.

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Diversity and Inclusion framework

  • The Executive developed an Interim Diversity plan with the purpose of transitioning and consolidating diversity actions across aged care sites.

Quality Updates

  • Regular Quality Updates held via videoconference, and recorded, providing information to staff on quality information including the new standards in Aged Care and the National Standards.

Aboriginal Health Impact Statements

  • Aboriginal Health Impact Statements completed for new or revised proposals/projects with three questions addressed:
    1. Is the proposal linked with any Aboriginal-specific initiatives?
    2. Will the proposal have an Aboriginal impact?
    3. Have Aboriginal stakeholders been engaged and will they continue to be?
  • The Aboriginal Health Impact Statement aims to ensure that Aboriginal stakeholders have been engaged in the decisions that affect their health and wellbeing.

Health literacy

  • Work progressed through the Partnering with Consumers committee for the collaboration and co-design with consumers on consumer information that meets the health literacy needs of consumers.

Clinical risk

  • Clinical risk manager appointed as part of Quality Risk and Safety team. Serious incidents are comprehensively reviewed and investigated in liaison with the site and Executive Director Medical Services. Recommendations are monitored through Clinical Governance meetings.

Staff wellbeing and engagement

  • ‘Welcome Nourish Sustain’ timeless engagement theme determined with ‘champions’ meeting monthly. Targeted positive culture approach where strategies are built from the ground up to address identified specific issues and improving positive consumer outcomes whilst supporting staff.
  • Stressbuster toolkits developed during COVID-19 to support staff.
  • Survey conducted to identify staff needs with a series of ‘staff forums’ with the Employee Assistance Program.

Scholarship program

  • A scholarship program was developed and work was conducted with a registered training provider to develop a targeted training package suitable for the local community members inclusive of existing and potential employees.
  • Twelve students entered the scholarship program with nine graduating and winning roles as Aged Care Workers within the Riverland. Given the success of this program, Loxton Health Advisory Council is now running a second cohort and the rural support service has picked up the model to offer scholarships across all SA regions

Consumer Representative framework

  • Development of a Consumer Representative framework to further enhance the capacity of the organisation to engage and collaborate with consumers on committees and interview panels.

‘How to…’

  • How to…' documents developed by the Quality Risk and Safety Business Unit providing additional resources for staff on quality activities.

What matters to you

  • ‘What matters to you' included in consumer experience surveys to enable health professionals to be able to impart information verbally to ensure it is tailored to the individual.

Reconciliation Action Plans

  • Reconciliation Action Plans included in site Quality Risk and Safety meetings as a standing agenda item to ensure a cultural lens is placed across the provision of services in the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network.

Antimicrobial stewardship                         

  • Antimicrobial stewardship audit schedule developed and patient information fact sheets developed to inform patients of antibiotic use.
  • Development of Antimicrobial stewardship Action Plan.
  • Preventing and Controlling Hospital Acquired Infections working group established to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Aged Care Performance Monitoring

  • A new framework for measuring compliance to the Aged Care Quality Standards has been developed encompassing:
    • Evaluation of current performance against the eight Aged Care Quality Standards through a self-assessment.
    • Clinical audits to identify differences between practice and policy and then make improvements.
    • Incident and feedback data – comprehensive report provided monthly, analysis of data and trends and actions implemented as a result of identified variances.
    • Consumer experience survey developed and an additional selection of questions can be asked in response to the current environment, such as, increase in a certain incident, or feedback received.
    • Additional items included on the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Performance Monitoring Schedule including: Care plan evaluations, National Quality Indicator data, At Risk activity register. Psychotropic register and Mandatory reporting register.

Site specific service improvements

  • Riverland General Hospital - Berri
    • Hotel services - Staff not easily identifying patients who require feeding assistance or meal supervision led to the implementation of a Red Tray system to identify patients who require feeding assistance or meal supervision. All patients are provided with the appropriate care in the provision of meals.
    • Renal – Safety Learning System incident regarding the inability to see patients who deteriorate behind a sectioned wall of the treatment area led to the installation of windows into privacy walls. Patients are able to be observed from other treatment areas ensuring constant clinical monitoring. Patient safety during dialysis has improved with patients able to be observed at all times and patients are also able to view nursing staff at other stations.
  • Karoonda
    • Staff suggestion to utilise the front lawn of the hospital for residents and families/visitors. Residents and staff have been co-designing the space with bird baths selected by residents installed.
  • Mannum
    • The Mannum District Hospital car service ceased temporarily in mid-December 2019. The Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network sincerely apologised to volunteers and stakeholders for any inconvenience caused by disruption to the service, and it was reinstated immediately for local community members.
    • Recycling – It was noted that there was excessive rubbish from hospital/residential care, including recyclable items which can be collected separately and recycled in a safe manner. A collaborative approach involving staff, residents and families led to decreasing the environmental footprint and consumers feeling better about discarding items and recycling.
  • Murray Bridge
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members supported to feel comfortable in the hospital environment including through a morning tea flu vaccination program with the Aboriginal community and Elders program, Tumake Yande.
    • Patient controlled analgesia in labour improved having identified there was no option for patient controlled analgesia in the labour ward despite evidence that this is best practice and provides more effective pain relief. All patient controlled analgesia pumps were upgraded for ease of use with feedback received from mothers that pain control is improved and the sense of self control is enabled.
  • Waikerie
    • Church services during COVID-19 pandemic - Restrictions meant that community religious leaders were unable to visit for regular services. Following discussions with local church leaders a copy of the service is now provided on DVD so that consumers are able to continue to participate in religious activities as desired.
    • Tai chi weekly program implemented by physiotherapist following consumer request for balance type exercise program to reduce the possibility of falls and improve confidence. Assessment has identified increased strength and balance to consumers, increased mobility and dexterity for residents, and improved confidence and independence.
  • Renmark
    • Communication during COVID-19 pandemic – Restrictions led to difficulties in providing timely information and updates to resident representatives. A SMS messaging system introduced to support resident representatives, maintain connections and ensure timely and effective communication with resident representatives.
  • Tailem Bend
    • Going out during COVID-19 pandemic – Restrictions curtailed residents going out for meals. Two residents suggested having takeaway meals to replace going out and this implemented weekly following a discussion of options by residents.