Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Annual Report 2019-2020

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network
The Terrace, Port Pirie, South Australia 5540
Contact phone number: 08 8638 4500
Contact email: Health.YNLHNCEOOffice@sa.gov.au ISSN: 2652-6700

Date presented to Minister: 30 September 2020


Hon Stephen Wade MLC Minister for Health and Wellbeing

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of 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 Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Inc by:

Roger Kirchner
Chief Executive Officer
Yorke and Northern Local Health Network

John Voumard
Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Governing Board

Date: 17 September 2020

Acknowledgement to Traditional Custodians

The Yorke and Northern Local Health Network acknowledges the Aboriginal Custodians of the Land and Waters within the Footprint of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network. We respect their spiritual relationship with their country and acknowledge their cultural beliefs are an important focus of the past, present and future. We acknowledge Elders and emerging Leaders.

From the Chief Executive

On 1 July 2019, I was delighted to formally commence in the role of Chief Executive Officer for the new Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.

While I have worked for many years as CEO in various iterations of

what is now the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, I have not experienced a time of such significant change.

The first 12 months as a new organisation, added with the impact of COVID-19, has seen the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network experience both exciting and challenging times, together with great learnings. I believe we have begun to lay strong foundations that continue to ensure the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network continues to be a leader and excel in providing high-quality health care to the Yorke and Northern community. While we are still finding our feet as a new agency, I am very proud of our accomplishments and achievements to date.

Significant events in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network this year include:

  • Launch of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Governing Board Strategic Priorities on 1 November 2019.
  • Announcement of the Orroroo and District Health Service Centenary Celebration as the winner of the 2020 Australia Day Community Event of the Year.
  • Finalisation of the Executive Committee Charter and the establishment of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network governance structure.
  • Implementation of bi-monthly meetings with the Presiding Members of our Health Advisory Councils.
  • Release of the Lower Yorke Peninsula Health Service Plan in February 2019, identifying key priorities for mental health, aged care, emergency services and future health needs for the community.
  • Resignation of our inaugural Governing Board Chair, Vanessa Boully and appointment of our new Governing Board Chair, John Voumard.
  • Resignation of Aboriginal member Shane Mohor from the Governing Board and the appointment of Glenise Coulthard AM.
  • Appointment of Dr Viney Joshi to the position of Executive Director of Medical Services for the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.
  • We said farewell to two long-serving members of the Port Pirie Health Advisory Council, Mr Barry Hay and Mr Joe Paparella, who both dedicated over 20 years of service to the Port Pirie community.
  • Commencement of the development of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Strategic Plan, Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy, Clinical Engagement Strategy and Communication Strategy.
  • A visit from the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, who visited the Environmental Health Centre in February 2019, to witness the innovation and education around Lead for the Port Pirie community.
  • Announcement of three Yorke and Northern Local Health Network finalists for the 2020 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards - Heather Braun, Tanya Seddon and the Midwifery Caseload Model of Care.
  • Presentation of the 2020 Premier’s Certificate of Recognition to John Blieschke, a long-standing volunteer, for outstanding volunteer service at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service.
  • Establishment of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Reconciliation Committee.
  • Celebration of NAIDOC week during July 2019, with many events held across sites and communities.
  • Creation of an updated Statement of Acknowledgement, tailored to acknowledge local Traditional Owners of the Land.
  • The newly formed Narungga Health Assembly met for the first time in March 2019 to discuss the health priorities and future health needs of Narungga Nations people living in the Yorke Peninsula. As part of the State Government’s Buthera Agreement, the meeting saw a number of key stakeholders come together to discuss future health service opportunities tailored to the needs of the Narungga Nations people.
  • Commencement of significant investment projects addressing repairs, maintenance and upgrades in hospitals across Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.
  • Establishment of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Facebook Page, which since its inception on 15 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, has over 4,000 followers.
  • Launch of Teamgage in June 2020, a positive workplace feedback platform to support managers to gain real-time feedback from staff. Trending upwards, 25% of staff have engaged in this initiative, and as a result, changes have begun to improve employee wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Successful accreditation under the National Safety and Quality Health Care Standards for Symonds Wing at the Jamestown Hospital and Health Service and Ira Parker Nursing Home at the Balaklava Soldiers’ Memorial District Hospital.
  • Celebration of all volunteers across the Local Health Network during National Volunteer Week to recognise and thank volunteers who continually and selflessly give their time to support our consumers and services.
  • Acknowledgement and celebration of nurses and midwives across all sites as part of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife initiative.
  • Provision of support during the bushfires on Yorke Peninsula through the implementation of the emergency response plan for Southern Yorke Peninsula Hospital (Yorketown).

The Yorke and Northern Local Health Network has undertaken many infrastructure improvements to enhance patient comfort, security and services. I extend a heartfelt thank you to the support provided by our Health Advisory Councils, Hospital Auxiliaries, volunteers and communities, without whose help this work would not be possible.

I look forward to the upcoming year with a sense of confidence that we are moving forward positively and will continue to progress, learn and thrive as we shape our local health network to serve our local communities. We will continue to work with our local communities to ensure we understand their needs, collaborate with our valuable stakeholders, and maximise resources to ensure we continue to provide excellent services to our communities closer to home.

In closing, I extend my sincere thanks to the Governing Board, Executive staff, Health Advisory Councils, and all managers, medical staff, staff and volunteers for their dedication and support in ensuring the delivery of high-quality services to communities in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.

Roger Kirchner
Chief Executive Officer
Yorke and Northern Local Health Network

From the Governing Board Chair

It's been a very eventful year for the inaugural Yorke and Northern Local Health Network (YNLHN) Governing Board.

YNLHN has moved into a new space of independence with the ability to determine our own destiny. Under a new governance structure, we have watched our leaders and managers step up and thrive while exercising this new level of autonomy.

It has been a time of challenges and learning. The dedication, commitment and leadership of staff has been ever-present, and, despite these challenges, they have continued to provide high-quality services to our communities.

On 1 July 2019, the inaugural chair of the YNLHN Governing Board, Vanessa Boully, officially launched the YNLHN, with our catch-phrase ‘more than just a health service.’ At the time, Vanessa spoke about ‘evolution’ describing its many meanings: developing, sprouting; growing; changing; progressing and advancing. All of which, we have continued to do over the past 12 months, and we will continue to do as we evolve in the future.

The implementation of a new governance structure posed some challenges. Still, we successfully established five new board committees, supported by a range of protocols and procedures to ensure good governance for the YNLHN. These committees, including, Aged Care Services, Audit and Risk, Clinical Governance, Community and Consumer Engagement, and Finance and Performance, are each chaired by a board member.

In line with the requirements of the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Act 2018, the YNLHN Governing Board is required to develop and publish a Clinician Engagement Strategy and a Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy. Development of both of these strategies is well underway. The Clinician Engagement Strategy will ensure that the specialist knowledge and experience of our clinicians is incorporated into the core activities of our services. The Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy will support transparency and engagement with our communities and consumers, enabling local voices to be involved and heard during the planning of our health services.

These strategies will sit alongside the 2020-2025 YNLHN Strategic Plan, which is also in development. All strategies will be completed and released by the end of 2020.

The Board is extremely grateful that we have such a cohesive management team, who have successfully led the work creating the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, as well as providing strong leadership to ensure the effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board and I have the utmost confidence in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, as YNLHN developed a thorough and responsive COVID-19 management plan.

Staff worked above and beyond, to ensure we continued to provide services to our communities within the imposed constraints. We have been blessed by not having many positive cases across our region, but we were ready to respond if the pandemic had hit us severely, and continue to be prepared should this situation change.

The Board also experienced some changes to our membership during the year. In November, we welcomed Glenise Coulthard, who joined us after Shane Mohor resigned. Following the resignation of Vanessa Boully in December, I accepted the role of Board Chair with pleasure to ensure continuity of our inaugural Board’s work.

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the YNLHN Board members; Julianne Badenoch, Glenise Coulthard, Liz Malcolm and Yvonne Warncken, all who provide exceptional skills and knowledge to the Governing Board and to their assigned board committees. Their passion for the YNLHN is valued, and I look forward to continuing to working together as we evolve as a Board and LHN.

I thank Roger Kirchner, Chief Executive Officer, the YNLHN Executive Team and all managers, staff, clinicians, medical staff and volunteers, who so capably and diligently undertake their roles with dedication and commitment to ensure our communities continue to receive services of the highest quality.

I look forward to all of us continuing this journey together to ensure we deliver and grow best practice services for the Yorke and Northern community.

John Voumard
Chair, Governing Board
Yorke and Northern Local Health Network

Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network delivers safe, high quality services, which are reflective of local needs and priorities, and provided within available resources.

Our Values

  • Customer Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Caring
  • Creativity
  • Courage

Our functions, objectives and deliverables

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network provided a range of public acute, residential aged care, community health and mental health services to country based South Australians. These services are based on population needs, focusing on integrating our service delivery with metropolitan hospitals and other service providers in regional locations.

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network’s strategic priorities were to:

  • Build innovative and high performing health services.
  • 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 our communities.

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network’s key deliverables were to:

  • Develop a service planning schedule for the remainder of the health units in YNLHN and consider additional support resources required to complete the process by December 2020.
  • Commence the development of a strategic planning process for YNLHN beyond 2020.
  • Establish a process to review the delivery and sustainability of aged care services across YNLHN.
  • Consider a process for reviewing and developing sustainable medical models for YNLHN.
  • Ensure the safety and quality of care for patients/consumers through the development, implementation and monitoring of an integrated governance framework.
  • Ensure all YNLHN sites work towards meeting budget parameters and performance measures.
  • Ensure succession plans are in place for the critical roles, including the Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair.
  • Consider options for future workforce planning across the LHN, in partnership with the YNLHN People and Culture directorate.
  • Undertake an assessment of the current culture across YNLHN.
  • Consider ways to engage staff and create a culture that ‘champions consumer and stakeholder best practice to ensure consumers are at the centre of planning and service redesign and redevelopment’.
  • Commence the development of a clinical engagement strategy.
  • Commence the development of a consumer and community engagement strategy, engaging and utilising the knowledge and networks of the members of the Health Advisory Councils in the LHN.
  • Identify potential partners that support access to health and health related services, and map ways for them to be engaged.
  • Develop and implement a process to ensure that hospital resources are applied equitably to meet the identified needs of the community served.
  • Identify and work with potential partners to ensure the YNLHN is involved with, and is an active participant in, the planning of future health and health related services designed to meet demographic shifts and regional developments. (e.g. the Primary Health Network; local government; regional development boards; Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure).
  • Develop and implement a process that ensures concepts, ideas and innovation are considered through a structured process that is based on the best benefit to identified consumer need.

Our organisational structure

YNLHN is managed by the Chief Executive Officer who reports to, and is accountable to the YNLHN Governing Board.

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.

  • Pursuant to the Health Care (Local Health Networks) Proclamation 2019, Country Health SA was dissolved on 30 June 2019.
  • On 1 July 2019, pursuant to the above named Proclamation, the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Inc. formally commenced operation.
  • At this time, the new governance arrangements came into effect. The Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Governing Board assumed governance responsibility for the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, with operational and management responsibility assumed by the Chief Executive Officer.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see Data.SA website

Our Minister

The 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

Chief Executive Officer

Roger Kirchner is accountable to the Governing Board for the provision, management and administration of health services and ensuring the overall performance of all public health services, including residential aged care facilities, in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.

Chief Finance Officer

Vincent Bellifemini is responsible for leading the provision of a comprehensive financial management, analysis and reporting service across the local health network.

Director Aboriginal Health

This position was filled on a temporary basis in 2019-20 by the Consultant Aboriginal Health, who provided advice and support with initiatives and issues related to the delivery of Aboriginal Health services. The position will be filled on an ongoing basis early in 2020-21.

Director Corporate Services

Paul Fahey is responsible for the management of a broad range of high level, critical corporate and business functions that support the effective operation of all sites in the local health network. This includes capital works; asset management; business continuity planning and emergency management.

Director Governance and Leadership Support

Leeanne Stringer is responsible for leading the provision of high quality and timely support to the Chief Executive Officer and the Governing Board. The role has a strong focus on performance, effectiveness and relevant legislative compliance, and is also responsible for the functions of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer and local health network Communications.

Director Mental Health

Lucas Milne leads mental health services across the local health network, with teams based in Clare, Port Pirie and Kadina. The role is responsible for the delivery of mental health services and complex mental health reform projects in line with state-wide directions in collaboration with the Rural and Remote Mental Health Service. Director People and Culture Michael Davis is responsible for the management of the People and Culture Directorate, which encompasses the Human Resource and Work Health and Safety functions. These teams are responsible for the provision of expert advice and practical support to managers and staff, and also provide a range of reports to support the delivery of LHN strategic and operational objectives.

Executive Director Community and Allied Health

Melissa Koch is responsible for the efficient and effective management of a range of community and hospital based Community and Allied Health services across the local health network. This also includes the Environmental Health Centre; Aboriginal Health and Country Health Connect.

Executive Director Medical Services

Dr. Viney K. Joshi commenced work in the local health network in March 2020 and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of safe, high quality medical, surgical and specialist services to sites in the local health network.

Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery

Michael Eades is responsible for the delivery of a range of services across the Local Health Network, including Nursing and Midwifery; Aged Care, including residential and Quality Risk and Safety. The Executive Officers/ Directors of Nursing from 16 health services and 8 Residential Aged Care facilities across the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network all report to this position.

Manager Quality Risk and Safety

Joanne Vermeeren manages the Quality Risk and Safety Unit, which monitors the safety and quality systems, framework and supports sites in the implementation of safety and quality initiatives.

Our Governing Board

The Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Governing Board is responsible and accountable to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing for local decision making.

The role of the board is also to set strategies and priorities for health services in the region, and to ensure the local health network achieves the performance indicators in its Service Agreement with the Department for Health and Wellbeing.


  • Mrs Vanessa Boully (1 July 2019 – 4 December 2019)
  • Mr. John Voumard – effective 4 December 2019

Board Members

  • Mrs. Julianne Badenoch
  • Mrs. Glenise Coulthard AM
  • Mrs. Yvonne Warncken
  • Mrs. Liz Malcolm

Legislation administered by the agency


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

  • Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network
  • Central Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Eyre and Far North Local Health Network
  • Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network
  • Limestone Coast Local Health Network
  • Northern Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network
  • Southern Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Women’s and Children’s Local Health Network
  • South Australian Ambulance Service
  • Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health Office for Ageing Well
  • Wellbeing SA

The agency’s performance

Performance at a glance

In 2019 – 2020 the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network achieved key performance areas including:

  • Meeting targets for all emergency department ‘seen on time’ triage categories.
  • Meeting targets for emergency department ‘waits >24 hours’.
  • Meeting targets for emergency department ‘length of stay <4 hours’.
  • Delivering investment on capital upgrades and equipment in country hospitals and health services.
  • Increased Chemotherapy and Dialysis activity.
  • Increased referrals to Community and Allied Health services.
  • Increased Home Care and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Packages.
  • Increased referrals to Out of Hospital Strategy programs.
  • The Virtual Clinical Care program resulted in 2659 total client contacts and saved 11 ED presentations and 20 hospital admissions.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

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

The YNLHN has recruited an Implementation Lead for the Rural Health Workforce Strategy. This role is responsible for the development and implementation of local strategies that align with the Rural Health Workforce Strategy and Local Health Network priorities.

The YNLHN has been supporting efforts by local General Practitioner (GP) clinics to support an advertising campaign to attract GP staff to Booleroo.

Employment of Direct Care Workers in aged care, providing a broad range of support the Riverton and District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

Lower costs

Costs for consumers were reduced through delivering programs such as:

  • the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme (PATS)
  • timely elective surgery in rural communities
  • increasing access to telehealth services
  • increasing access to Virtual Clinical Care (VCC)
  • home-based chronic disease monitoring

Better Services

Implementation of the Midwifery Caseload Model of Care pilot at Wallaroo Hospital. The model of care has been developed in partnership with GP Obstetricians GP’s, clinicians, nursing and community services providing a well-integrated network of maternal and neonatal care providers that has supported 509 women and their families across the Yorke and Northern communities.

Undertaking Service Planning activities within the YNLHN at the Clare Hospital, the Balaklava Soldiers Memorial Hospital (BSMH) and the Port Pirie Regional Health Service (PPRHS) to plan for the future health needs of the community.

The YNLHN response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the establishment of an Incident Management Team has resulted in the safe management of patients, staff and the community during the pandemic.

$3.68 million in major electrical upgrades to Wallaroo Hospital and Health Services, Port Pirie Regional Health Service and Burra Hospital.

$1.17 million on works for Central Sterile Service Department (CSSD) compliance upgrade, in addition to an operating suite compliance upgrade for Southern Yorke Peninsula Hospital (Yorketown) commenced June 2020.

$0.73 million for communications upgrades throughout Yorke and Northern Local Health Network.

Commencement of the Nurse-Led Ambulatory clinic at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service for Outpatient appointments to prevent avoidable hospital admissions. This clinic enables patients presenting to the Emergency Department to receive treatment that can be given by nurses with the support of doctors to reduce waiting room times.

Increased local services for Cancer and Chemotherapy clients with the implementation of the Cancer Care Coordinator role at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service.

Piloting of the “My Top 5” project at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service to identify key important care needs for clients with a cognitive deficit, along with publication by the National Safety and Quality Commission of an abstract article.

Construction of a new Helipad adjacent to the Port Broughton District Hospital and Health Services, funded by the community, enabling direct access for the retrieval team into the hospital, supporting cost-saving and removing the need for SAAS attendance.

Agency specific objectives and performance

Hospital Services

Indicators Performance
Emergency Department seen on time Targets met across all triage categories
Emergency department length of stay less than or equal to 4 hours Target :>=90% Achievement: met
Emergency Department Length of Stay greater than 24 hours Target: 0 Achievement: 0
Elective Surgery timely admissions Category 1 target 100% - achievement 99.5% due to impact of COVID-19. Targets met for Category 2 and 3
Elective Surgery Overdue Patients Target: 0 Achievement: 0
Relative Stay Index Target: <=0.95% Achievement: 0.97%
Unplanned Emergency Department Re-Attendances within 48 hours Target: <=4.5% Achievement: 5.63%
Healthcare Associated Infection Rate: Staphylococcus Aureus Target: <=1.0 Achievement: 0
Hospital Acquired Complication Variation Target: <=1.0% Achievement: 1.1%
Hospital Hand Hygiene Compliance rate-Overall Target: >=80% Achievement: 89.79%
Coding Timeliness Target:100% Achievement: 99.7%
Acute inpatient activity 8,785 overnight patients 9,653 same day patients 330 babies delivered (including 27 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)
Chemotherapy activity 2,053 Chemotherapy treatments across three sites. (Port Pirie; Wallaroo; Clare)
Renal Dialysis activity 3,680 renal dialysis treatments across three sites. (Port Pirie; Maitland; Clare)

Improving access to health services in our communities

Indicators Performance
Community, Nursing and Allied Health service activity Approximately 21,000 referrals were received for these services. A total of 462,441 services were provided.
Potentially Preventable Admissions Target: <=8% Achievement: 10%
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program activity Active NDIS clients as at 30 June 2020:
  • 104 adult
  • 133 children

Aboriginal Health Programs

Indicators Performance
Aboriginal Health – Left at own risk ED Target: <=4.5%. Achievement: 6.8%
Aboriginal Health – Left hospital against medical advice (inpatients) Target: <=4.5% Achievement: 6.5%
Aboriginal workforce Target >=4%. Achievement 1.3%

Continuous improvement of quality and safety

Indicators Performance
Safety Assessment Code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents Total SAC 1 & 2 incidents for 2019-20: 19. Total SAC 1 & 2 incidents for 2018-19: 17
Consumer Experience Survey: Overall Quality Target: >=85% Achievement: 96.9%
Consumer Experience Survey: Being heard and listened to Target: >=85% Achievement: 87.6%
Consumer Experience: Survey Being cared about by staff Target: 85% Achievement: 88%

Aged care

Indicators Performance
Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) assessments Target: 955 Achievement: 800
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) Target: 90% Achievement: 82.94%
Home Care Package occupancy rates There were 1,193 home care packages provided.
Residential Aged Care Occupancy The average rate of occupancy was 78.9%

Corporate performance summary

In 2019-2020 the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network achieved key performance outcomes, including:

  • Establishment of the Board committees in line with the prescribed legislative requirements.
  • Approval by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and subsequent establishment of an Aged Care Services Board Committee to ensure a strong focus on this core function in the local health network.
  • Implementation of a new governance structure.
  • Establishment of the YNLHN Reconciliation Committee.
  • Establishment of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer directorate.
  • Successful recruitment to key executive roles.
  • Commencement of recruitment to the Director Aboriginal Health role.
  • Completion of service plans for Wallaroo Hospital and Health Services and Yorke Peninsula Health Services (Southern Yorke Peninsula Hospital –Yorketown and Central Yorke Peninsula Hospital-Maitland).
  • Implementation of the COVID-19 Incident Management Team.
  • Implementation of Teamgage workplace feedback platform.
  • Reduced Worker’s Compensation costs.

Employment opportunity programs

Aboriginal Employment Program

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network employed 7 people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander through local employment initiatives.

Enrolled Nurse Cadet program

During 2019-20, five students commenced the program. 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 employees’ work performance to assist them to meet SA Health values and objectives

  • 948 YNLHN employees (55.9%) have participated in a PRD review within the six months prior to 30/06/2020.
  • 885 YNLHN employees (52.2%) have participated in a PRD review within the six months prior to 31/12/2019.
  • 1399 YNLHN employees (82.5%) have participated in a PRD review within the twelve months prior to 30/06/2020.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name Performance
Internal Audit Program 218 (92%) completed of 236 scheduled.
Worksite Safety Inspection Program 160 (91%) completed of 175 scheduled.
Emergency Exercise Program 90 (87%) completed of 103 scheduled.
Corrective Action Plan In the fourth quarter, 14 actions were added and 15 actions were closed. 21 actions remain open greater than 3 months.
1800 Injury Reporting See table below*
Workers’ Compensation Claims Activity and Claims Costs Achieved no increase in number of worker’s compensation claims lodged. Achieved a 13% reduction in direct worker’s compensation claims costs. Achieved a 40% reduction in registered medical costs.

1800 Injury Reporting

1800 Injury Reporting Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Total number of 1800# calls for month 10 8 12 18 19 16 15 19 8 18 12 12
Number of calls made on same shift 7 7 10 15 12 11 15 11 6 16 4 9
% of calls made on same shift 70% 88% 83% 83% 63% 69% 100% 58% 61% 100% 33% 75%
Number of calls made within 2 business days 10 8 12 17 18 16 15 17 8 18 8 12
% of calls made within 2 business days (KPI 80%) 100% 100% 100% 94% 95% 100% 100% 89% 100% 100% 67% 100%

Workplace injury claims

Workplace injury claims Current year 2019-20 Past year 2018-19 % Change (+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims 24 24 0.0%
Fatalities 0 0 0.0%
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 0.0%
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE) 10.84 11.91 -9.0%

*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

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) 3 7 -57.1%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195) 1 2 -50.0%
Return to work costs** Current year 2019-20 Past year 2018-19 % Change (+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) $237,496 $546,568 -56.5%
Income support payments – gross ($) $134,216 $115,230 +16.5%

**before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at Data.SA website.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see Data.SA website.

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

During 2017-18, The Health Care Act 2008 was amended to facilitate the establishment of six new regional Local Health Networks. (LHNs).

These regional LHNs and their respective Governing Boards became operational on 1 July 2019 and at that time, assumed responsibility for health services previously provided by the Country Health SA Local Health Network.

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network. 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 Past Year 2018-19 Actual $000s
Expenses 170,420 176,725 (6,305) Not Applicable
Revenues 49,991 49,931 (60) Not Applicable
Net cost of providing services 120,429 126,794 (6365) Not Applicable
Net Revenue from SA Government 117,949 121,813 0 Not Applicable
Net result 2,480 4,981 (2,501) Not Applicable
Total Comprehensive Result 2,480 4,981 (2,501) Not Applicable

Statement of Financial Position 2019-20 Budget $000s 2019-20 Actual $000s Variation $000s Past year 2018-19 Actual $000s
Current assets 29,949 0 0 Not applicable
Non-current assets 155,549 0 0 Not applicable
Total assets 185,498 0 0 Not applicable
Current liabilities 35,294 0 0 Not applicable
Non-current liabilities 21,153 0 0 Not applicable
Total liabilities 56,447 0 0 Not applicable

Statement of Financial Position 2019-20 Budget $000s 2019-20 Actual $000s Variation $000s Past year 2018-19 Actual $000s
Net assets 129,051 0 0 Not applicable
Equity 129,051 0 0 Not applicable

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 $10,424

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

Consultancies Purpose $ Actual payment
Babyboomers Pty Ltd Contract Nurse Advisor and Administrator Service-Ira Parker Nursing Home Aged Care compliance $ 207,345
Babyboomers Pty Ltd Contract Nurse Advisor Services – Riverton Aged Care compliance $ 39,854
Babyboomers Pty Ltd Contract Aged Care Quality Standards Review – Community Services Port Pirie $ 15,370
Total $ 262,569

Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA website.

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 $ 52,575

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each

Contractors Purpose $ Actual payment
HCA – Healthcare Australia Agency $ 590,520
Your Nursing Agency Pty Ltd Agency $ 569,154
Rural Locum Scheme Pty Ltd Agency $ 302,164
Prime Medical Placements Pty Ltd Agency $ 82,934
Advance Physiotherapy Pty Ltd Agency $ 17,280
Cornerstone Medical Recruitment Agency $ 13,545
Country Home Services Social Support/Domestic Assistance $ 10,586
Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) Pty Ltd Agency $ 10,507
  Total   $ 1,596,690

Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA website.

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.

Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

The YNLHN Audit and Risk Board Committee operates in line with an approved Terms of Reference that defines the purpose, function and scope of the committee.

This committee is Chaired by the YNLHN Governing Board Chair, and reports directly to the YNLHN Governing Board.

Membership of this committee includes an external member, representatives from the Auditor General’s Department, Rural Support Service and SA Health Risk and Assurance Services.

The committee met monthly to review a range of information and reports to ensure the efficient and effective management of all aspects of risk in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network. Bi-monthly meetings will commence after July 2020.

Fraud detected in the agency


Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network processes implemented to help control and prevent fraud include:

  • Monthly reports are provided to the YNLHN Audit and Risk Board Committee who provide advice directly to the Governing Board about any instances of fraud reported to the Independent Commission Against Corruption and to the Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Risk and Audit Branch.
  • Internal review of organisational finances is undertaken by YNLHN Executive Committee on a monthly basis.
  • The YNLHN Finance and Performance Board Committee reviews a comprehensive range of organisational financial reports on a monthly basis. This committee provides advice to the YNLHN Governing Board.
  • The Chief Finance Officer provides a monthly finance summary to the YNLHN Governing Board, and also attends the monthly Governing Board meetings.
  • The YNLHN Finance and Performance Board Committee reviews outstanding debts and debt write-offs on a monthly basis.
  • An annual Financial Controls Self-Assessment review is undertaken to ensure controls are in place to avoid fraud.
  • The YNLHN Governing Board notes all SA Health Policy Directives and this is reflected in meeting minutes. There is an established process to ensure these are implemented through the governance structure.
  • There is an established annual Declaration of Interest process in place, with registers in place to record declared conflicts. Managers have assigned responsibility to manage these where required.

Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA website.

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:


Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA website.

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


Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

The Yorke and Northern Local Health Network (YNLHN) recognises that the involvement and engagement of carers is essential to ensure services are considerate of and responsive to their needs, health and well-being and their role in the community.

The value of carers cannot be underestimated, and by working in partnership, we ensure their contribution to service planning and delivery is actively sought.

YNLHN does this by:

  • Liaison and consultation with our Partnering with Consumers Committee, the Mental Health Lived Experience Group, Aboriginal community groups and Aboriginal Experts by Experience.
  • Ensuring ongoing and regular consultation with our eight Health Advisory Councils and other representative groups when developing policies and programs that affect consumers or carers.
  • Involving consumers and carers in the review, design and delivery of services, particularly through participation in service planning processes and the collection and review of consumer feedback.
  • Co-designing and reviewing the information provided to carers to ensure it is accessible, relevant and appropriate.
  • Ensuring service design and review considers cultural appropriateness.
  • Designing services that are delivered as close to home as possible to reduce the burden upon carers.
  • Working in partnership with a range of government and non-government service providers and other stakeholders to ensure a broad range of services are available across the YNLHN area.
  • Providing a staff orientation and induction program and a mandatory staff training program that ensures staff are educated about the Carers Charter.
  • Using appropriate communication platforms such as the YNLHN and YNLHN Health Advisory Councils Facebook pages, and Health Advisory Council newsletters, where implemented.
  • Providing access to Respite Services, Day Care programs and Dementia Support programs to support carers in their caring role.

There is a detailed communications strategy that describes how YNLHN actively encourages consumer and carer engagement and seeks feedback about the services that we provide.

We have commenced work on the YNLHN Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy, and expect this will be finalised by December 2020. This strategy will outline specific techniques to ensure our communities and vulnerable groups are engaged in ways that suit them, and enable further development of the partnerships with our consumers and carers, with a particular focus on enhancing engagement in the design and delivery of local health services.

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 59
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided 4
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out- of-date knowledge 0
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer 11
Communication Confidentiality Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly 6
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 2
Service delivery Process Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive 1
Policy Policy application Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given 0
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer 0
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose 1
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English 1
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met 21
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness 14
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations 103
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate 0


Additional Metrics

  • Number of positive feedback comments 1106
  • Number of negative feedback comments 314
  • Total number of feedback comments 1496
  • percentage of complaints resolved within policy timeframes  90%

Data for previous years is available at: Data.SA website

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

The YNLHN has made the following improvements to facilities as a result of consumer feedback:

  • Installation of an electronic device charging station in the Port Pirie Regional Health Service Accident and Emergency Department.
  • Installation of a Gopher charging and storage shed at Ira Parker Nursing home in the Balaklava Soldiers’ Memorial District Hospital.
  • Improved garden areas for residential aged care consumers and relatives at several sites.
  • Disability access ramps installed at several sites.
  • Improvements to health unit signage to assist with directing consumers and their carers.
  • Increased disabled car parking spaces at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service.
  • Increased seating as rest points for consumers in the corridors of the Port Pirie Regional Health Service.
  • In consultation with consumers, improved ambience in the sunroom at Peterborough Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital to remove clinical appearance, with local primary school children engaged to provide artwork.
  • Installation of a wider footpath to the front veranda at Laura and District Hospital to enable consumers to safely use seating areas on the veranda.

Consumer Communication Boards

YNLHN introduced standardised consumer communication boards for all inpatients in November 2018.

A survey of consumers to evaluate the implementation of the consumer communication boards conducted in September 2019 identified that 86% of respondents found the boards clear and easy to read; 90% indicated that staff involved consumers when making notations on the communication board; 80% indicated they felt more informed about their care.

Further improvements suggested included having written goals of care on the communication board and Nurses names written on the Board consistently.

As a result of the consumer feedback YNLHN revised the Consumer Communication Board template, with a focus on more consumer-friendly language, consideration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers, and including areas for consumer goals and discharge planning.

Food and Dining Experience in Residential Aged Care

Consumer feedback within YNLHN residential aged care services identified food provision and dining experience as an area for improvement.

The Menu & Dining Experience Working Party developed an action plan to assist residential aged care services to implement a variety of suggested improvements.

In 2020 the Older Persons Food Working Party was developed to enable consumers to improve consumer’s choices for take away food options, whilst mitigating associated risks and maintaining Food Safety Guidelines.

Mental Health Welcome Packs

YNLHN have implemented consumer Welcome Packs following consumer feedback which identified that improvements could be made regarding the consistency of information provided at entry of mental health services.

The Consumer Carer Participation Program (CCPP) Team Champions, including a YNLHN champion, provided feedback from teams on what information should be provided to each consumer to ensure they are well informed and supported.

The Welcome Packs are designed to remain flexible with teams continuing to add additional local information and resources as appropriate.

Resources to Assist with Awareness of Lead Safe Practices

The Environmental Health Centre in Port Pirie have co-designed and developed several new resources with consumers and key stakeholders to assist with awareness of lead safe practices.

Some of their recent projects include:

  • A ‘One talk’ poster developed specifically for Aboriginal consumers in five different dialects, with a focus on pregnant women and importance of blood lead testing at Environmental Health Centre for those living in Pt Pirie
  • Augmented interactive poster with several ‘clips’ of consumers providing information on lead safe messages to assist with reducing lead exposure, developed in collaboration with University of Adelaide and SA Health Public health department. This resource was launched at the Port Pirie Smelters Picnic in 2019, providing useful information that can be used in several formats and locations in the community. These clips are now also shared via the YNLHN Facebook page and other key stakeholder social media platforms reaching a broader community audience
  • A mobile phone application is ready to launch in 2020 for the community to download EHC lead safe messages, links to resources and website