The agency's performance (DHW 2021-22 Annual Report)

Performance at a glance

The Government has committed to delivering significant investment of more than $2.4 billion into the health system to improve responsiveness and access to healthcare across South Australia.

As of 30 June 2022 election commitment reporting for the 72 health commitments had not yet commenced, however high-level summary of the Government commitments can be found in the agency contribution to whole of Government objectives on page 18.

The Chief Executive Performance framework reports a selection of strategies, priorities and organisation indicators for DHW. The below key performance indicator (KPI) table demonstrates recent comparisons.

Table 1 : CE KPI Comparison 2021-22 to 2020-21

Agency response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Surveillance, Contact Tracing and Outbreak Management

Public health forms a pivotal role in SA Health’s system-wide strategy for COVID-19 management. The Communicable Disease Control Branch COVID Operations (CDCB) leads the surveillance, contact tracing and outbreak management for COVID-19 in South Australia. Prior to the international and state border re-openings, CDCB successfully implemented an elimination strategy to protect the public from COVID-19 as other arms of health prepared for living with COVID-19. Following border re-openings in November 2021, response measures focused on protecting vulnerable communities and settings, whilst living with COVID-19 in the community. This included the provision of public health advice, development of outbreak plans and policy as well as deployment of staff to support localised outbreak response.

This included the provision of public health advice, development of outbreak plans and policy as well as deployment of staff to support localised outbreak response.

Advancements in IT systems allowed an efficient and timely response. The system moved from paper based to total automation including SMS messaging to cases and close contacts and electronic surveys for case completion. These developments provided for rapid information sharing including communication of isolation requirements and identification of high-risk facilities and settings, and the collection of important epidemiological data.

More than 595,000 cases were identified during the 2021-22 financial year, and were analysed, investigated and provided with public health advice. At least 2,134 outbreaks were defined in a range of communities, high risk and critical settings during this period. During the elimination and slow the spread phases, CDCB COVID Operations identified and managed 32,584 contacts, 96 per cent of these were close contacts and four per cent were secondary contacts.

On 24 May 2022, the declaration of a major emergency under the Emergency Management Act 2004 was revoked and amendments were made to the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 to ensure important public health measures are maintained to protect the public.

State Control Centre – Health (SCC-H)

SA Health continued its role as Control Agency for the COVID pandemic, in accordance with the requirements of the declared state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (SA).

Between 1 July and 22 November 2021, the SCC-H provided critical services in the elimination phase of the COVID-19 response, including (but not limited to): a cross border exemptions function, the SA COVID-19 Information Line, adaptive and responsive logistics and operations support, leadership of planning and exercises, as well as a team stationed at Adelaide Airport assisting with the management of arrivals.

Between South Australian borders reopening on 23 November 2021 and 30 June 2022, the SCC-H supported efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 within the community:

  • Facilitated the transfer of more than 10,000 people within the Adelaide Metropolitan area, as well as the movement of 1,744 people on charter flights to and from the regions, for the purpose of quarantining and providing urgent medical treatment to positive COVID-19 cases.
  • Deployed Health Rapid Response Teams (including outposted Forward Commanders) to remote Aboriginal Communities and high-risk facilities, to guide and support the local response to COVID-19 and minimise transmission within vulnerable cohorts.
  • Sent more than 1,500,000 text messages and processed more than 1,300,000 survey responses from the public.
  • Developed a close contact booking system with Department of Premier and Cabinet and SAFECOM which enabled public distribution of more than 1,300,000 RAT kits for registered close contacts.
  • Handled more than 555,000 calls from the public to the SA COVID-19 Information Line.
  • Processed more than 1,800 requests for critical workers in essential sectors who were otherwise subject to quarantine requirements.

The SCC-H was officially decommissioned on 30 June 2022, following the end of the declared state of emergency in South Australia.

COVID-19 Testing

During the reporting period, the COVID-19 Testing work stream was responsible for ensuring that individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts of positive cases and other high-risk individuals, had access to fast and efficient COVID-19 testing. Testing was the critical measure for monitoring the level of COVID-19 in the South Australian community, with the data collected by testing being used to inform the broader public health response to the pandemic.

In addition to collecting and analysing the data, the work stream acted as an interface between SA Health, private pathology providers and SA Pathology to oversee and coordinate the State’s response to COVID-19 testing related issues.

The ban on Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) was lifted in late December 2021, to respond to a surge in case numbers due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and the reopening of the South Australian borders.

Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, SA Pathology undertook 3,552,869 COVID-19 PCR swabs.

COVID-19 Quarantine

The Quarantine and Isolation Program implemented effective and efficient quarantine and isolation strategies and programs to support the COVID-19 response, comprised of three interrelated components – Medi-Hotels, Alternative Quarantine Facilities, and Community (home-based) Quarantine.

COVID-19 Quarantine South Australia managed the Medi-Hotel Program which provided supervised and supported COVID-19 accommodation to more than 15,000 international and domestic travellers, COVID-19 positive cases and close contacts during their mandatory quarantine or isolation period.

Alternative quarantine facilities were also established in partnership with key support agencies in the Adelaide metropolitan area and played a key role in managing individuals who required specialist clinical and/or additional wrap-around supports. These facilities included the Drug and Alcohol Services SA (DASSA) Glenside Health Service Quarantine Facility, Wiltja Alternative Home Quarantine Facility, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Eden Hills Facility and the Puti (Park 23) Isolation Hub.

Regional outbreaks of COVID-19 across South Australia also necessitated rapidly adaptable and flexible mechanisms to provide quarantine and isolation support to regional communities. The Ceduna (Emu Farm) and the Port Augusta (Press Road) Accommodation Centres, established in January 2022, were highly successful in delivering culturally safe care and contributing to reduced COVID-19 transmission in vulnerable Aboriginal communities and the rough sleeping cohort.

Between December 2021 and 30 June 2022, the Community COVID-19 Response Team (CRCT) supported COVID-19 positive cases through appropriately triaged, community-based care, providing clinical monitoring to COVID-19 positive cases at home, and where required, escalation to medical assessment and the GP Assessment Team (GPAT) or community-based services such as COVID-19 Care Centres or Virtual Care Service

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The national COVID-19 Vaccination Program commenced in late February 2021. The vaccines have been delivered by both the Commonwealth, via private providers and Primary Health Care services, and by jurisdictions’ Health Departments. South Australia reached the milestone of 90 percent vaccination (with two doses) of those aged 12 and over in January 2022, when the focus shifted to delivering boosters, including the ‘winter booster’ and primary doses to those aged 5–11.

Measures to administer vaccines to eligible South Australians have included:

  • Wayville – opening at the Showgrounds on the 29 April 2021, Wayville was the state’s largest vaccination hub, delivering more than 420,000 doses from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 before closing on 14 July 2022.
  • Remote/regional services – between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, the six regional LHNs delivered more than 490,000 doses through state clinics and hospitals with the support of the DHW in organising mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics in a range of locations in regional towns
  • Vulnerable South Australians – SA Health worked with DHS to administer COVID-19 vaccines to people living with disability through the Highgate Clinic and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. High rates of vaccination in LHN-run RACFs are thanks to the work of SA Health staff in these facilities.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – the Department was involved in the rollout for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to administer vaccines on the APY Lands, LHNs delivered vaccines to regional ACCHOs and worked with local communities, and Wellbeing SA held a number of community events, offering funding to communities and incentive vouchers to help vaccine uptake.
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities – Wellbeing SA held several education sessions with community leaders to address hesitancy and increase uptake of the vaccine. They also attended many community events, sometimes with mobile vaccination units.
  • Schools program – to increase vaccination rates in 5-11 year olds and their families, SA Health in collaboration with the Department of Education organised for pop-up vaccination clinics to attend 40 primary schools.

In response to the Omicron surge in December 2021/January 2022 the DHW mobilised a booster clinic at Mile End to ensure as many eligible people as possible could receive vaccinations. On May 8 2022, a multi-media marketing campaign was launched to encourage more people to come forward and receive their booster.

In June 2022, eligibility for the fourth, or ‘winter booster’, dose was extended to everyone aged over 30 years old, leading to a short spike in vaccination numbers. Despite a trend of falling demand, (due largely to high rates of vaccination), state-run vaccination clinics have been maintained in all LHNs to complement the efforts of primary care providers and ensure equity of access to all South Australians.

Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, a total of 3,680,792 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in South Australia. 49 percent of these were administered by primary care providers (Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, GPs and pharmacies).

COVID-19 Acute Sector

COVID-19 acute hospital admissions presented a challenge for South Australia’s health system during the 2021-22 year and in response the system introduced a range of measures to create hospital bed capacity, increase hospital avoidance and maximise care in the community.

During the November 2021 surge COVID-19 related hospital admissions across the state peaked at more than 300 daily, dropping to just under 100 patients during March 2022 before increasing again at the start of June 2022 ahead of another surge.

As community case numbers increased, so did the number of the SA Health workforce furloughed because of isolation and close contact requirements, peaking at approximately 1,200 furloughed at any one time during this reporting period. To offset workforce shortages and manage workforce fatigue and morale, casual employment pools were made available to LHNs and third year nursing students were supported in assistant in nursing roles.

Strategic and operational management of COVID-19 across South Australia’s acute services was enabled by system-wide cooperation, coordination and governance and partnering with organisations in the primary care, Aboriginal health, disability, aged care and private hospital sectors.

Key features of the acute system response to COVID-19 included:

  • The purchase and operationalisation of additional bed capacity to cater for increased demand related to COVID-19 and to assist in maintaining system access and flow;
  • The establishment of three COVID Care Centres in each metropolitan local health network for the face-to-face assessment and treatment for COVID-19 positive patients;
  • The establishment of the state-wide Virtual Care Service to help ambulance crews, regional clinicians and aged care staff support patients requiring urgent but not hospital, via video link;
  • Enhancing the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service (CAVUCS), which provides children and young people aged between 6 months and 17 years with non-life-threatening conditions expert advice from qualified emergency doctors and nurses, virtually;
  • Accelerated discharge pathways from hospital to Residential Aged Care Facilities and supported accommodation for people eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Moving to virtual appointments for outpatient services where clinically appropriate.
  • The implementation of several directions to temporarily restrict certain types of elective surgery in public hospitals and agreements with private hospital operators to assist in maintaining public patient elective surgery access and public hospital bed capacity; and
  • Temporary visitor number reductions across metropolitan and regional hospitals to minimise the risk of transmission.

The emergence of the Omicron Variant of Concern in November 2021 and the subsequent sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 in June 2022, resulted in significant increases in demand across the acute sector.

In response to the COVID-19 surges the Acute Sector undertook several actions to ensure access to the sector was maintained, including:

  • Acute Sector COVID-19 Governance: The strategic and operational management of COVID-19 across the Acute Sector was supported by an Acute System Governance structure, which enabled systemwide coordination of demand and capacity.
  • Acute Sector COVID-19 enabler sub-streams: To support the operational management of COVID-19, state-wide specific workstreams were established, such as Intensive Care Unit, Renal, Mental Health, Elective Surgery. These workstreams supported the specific needs of these highly specialised groups in relation to COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Critical Pharmaceutical Supplies Governance Committee: System-wide monitoring and oversight of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Critical Pharmaceutical Supplies to identify and manage gaps and risks to the supply chain.

System-wide support to the Acute Sector to manage COVID-19 sought to:

  • Manage Visitor and Concierge Services to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission within hospitals when community case numbers were high through temporary visitor reductions across metropolitan and regional LHNs (Local Health Networks), with concierge services used to increase compliance with mask wearing and hand hygiene by visitors.
  • Purchase additional bed capacity to increase system capacity to support hospitals respond to increase in demand related to COVID-19 and assist in maintaining system-wide flow through:
    • the purchase and operationalisation of an additional 535 beds in the reporting period;
    • improved regional patient repatriation back to regional hospitals; and
    • accelerated discharge pathways to Residential Aged Care Facilities and supported accommodation for people eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Establish the state-wide Virtual Care Service which helps ambulance crews, regional clinicians and aged care staff support patients requiring urgent but not hospital care, via video link.
  • Enhance the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service (CAVUCS), which provides children and young people aged between 6 months and 17 years with non-life-threatening conditions expert advice from qualified emergency doctors and nurses, virtually.
  • Facilitate face-to-face assessment and treatment for COVID-19 positive patients through three COVID Care Centres (CCC) in the metropolitan region in each of CALHN (Central Adelaide Local Health Network), SALHN (Southern Adelaide Local Health Network) and NALHN (Northern Adelaide Local Health Network).

In response to significant capacity demands across the Acute Sector various Elective Surgery restrictions were implemented during this reporting period. These include:

  • SA entered seven-day lockdown on 20 July 2021, non-urgent elective surgery was suspended, to create the required hospital capacity to respond to the surge in COVID-19 hospital admissions.
  • 2022 - Emergency Management Direction to cease non-urgent Elective Surgery at public and private hospitals across South Australia from 4 January 2022 until the 28 February 2022.
  • A COVID-19 Private Hospital Funding Agreement was activated on 1 January 2022 and was in place until 28 February 2022. It enabled the provision of viability payments in exchange for access to private operator’s beds, staff and equipment. The partnership arrangement with the private sector supported the public acute sector to deliver elective surgery services and maintain bed capacity during the surge in COVID-19 demand.
  • In response to the June 2022 Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variant surges the SA Health Chief Executive introduced Elective Surgery Directions No. 4 and No. 5 to restrict non-urgent overnight adult elective surgery across South Australian public hospitals from 20 July 2022 until 26 August 2022, to assist the Acute Sector to manage the surge in COVID-19 hospitalisations.

COVID-19 impacted the delivery of Outpatient Services, particularly during periods of surge as workforce was deployed to support other Acute Sector services and social distancing required services to switch to virtual models. This innovative way of working continued and is now a preferred option for many patients.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Current Government’s Health Key Commitments

  • Reduce ramping through significant investment in SA Ambulance infrastructure and workforce
  • Workforce strategy to overcome our workforce challenges in order to maintain and sustain a workforce including recruitment of specialist and country doctors, and more nurses in line with the nurse/patient ratio.
  • Improve demand management with a substantial increase to hospital bed capacity through upgrades and expansion of existing infrastructure and the creation of new facilities within metro and country areas

Previous Government’s Health Key Commitments

  • Improvements and greater mental health assistance for South Australians were created through the implementation of the Mental Health Services plan
  • Improving access to health care services with the continued redevelopment of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Creating a state-of-the-art facility to give South Australian families access to the most advanced hospital care, technology and medical research for many years to come with a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Supporting community health with opening and the continued expansion of services at the Repat Health Precinct

Agency specific objectives and performance

The agency specific objectives align with the four goals and corresponding objectives as detailed in the South Australian Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2025. The departmental indicators represent the departments’ key strategy commitments as the system leader that have been aligned to the relevant goal objective/s. The performance column summarised the high-level status of each of the department commitments.

Goal 1 — TRUSTED: Regain community trust in the health system

Objective: Improve community trust and experience of the health system.

Community uptake of SA Heath recommended COVID-19 vaccinations

As a result of community engagement by SA Health of 30 June 2022 93.9 per cent of the 12+ community were vaccinated with two vaccination doses against COVID-19 and 73.2 per cent of the eligible population (5+) were doubled vaccinated.

Confidence in the Health Care System

Provides insight into the community’s perception of health care is South Australia. As of 30 June 2022 the majority of respondents were very confident or somewhat confident that they would receive quality and safe medical care (82.6 per cent), receive the most effective medication (90.9 per cent), receive the best medical technology (89.1 per cent), and be able to afford their care (80.2 per cent). The target for these metrics is 80 per cent with SA Health achieving four out of four variables tested. The system aim is to continue to improve those outcomes exceeding target.

Moving forward

Current Governments investment in the health system to increase frontline workforce and improve and expand infrastructure to ensure community trust and experience continues to be fostered and maintained.

Goal 2 — TARGETED: Create Services and programs guided by evidence relating to population need, disease prevalence, service gaps, emerging challenges and variation in experience and outcomes at individual, family and community level

Objective Reduce the incidence of preventable illness, injury and disability.

Mental Health Services Plan 2019-2024

COVID-19 continues to have an impact on the implementation of the Plan, with the majority of program sub-projects forecast to be completed by 2025. Key achievements in 2021-22 include: Implementation of the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre. The youth model of care was drafted, with consultation occurring in the second half of 2022 The NGO Redesign Project has resulted in four new draft service models to be reviewed The Towards Zero Suicide intranet page was completed and work on a pilot for training in Restorative just culture has commenced.

Aboriginal Health Care Framework

As of the 30 June 2022 the framework was being updated to reflect system changes. The framework will guide the access to and delivery of services to this cohort.

Objective — Improve the management of acute and chronic conditions and injuries.

COVID-19 in the community

From December 2021 DHW supported the management of COVID-19 positive cases in the community, providing clinical monitoring at home, and where required, escalation to medical assessment in community-based services such as COVID-19 Care Centres or Virtual Care Service. This approach assisted in reducing the burden on the public hospital system.

Moving forward

The current government have committed $174m investment in SA Ambulance assets and infrastructure to manage the demand and improve system wide responsiveness. There is also a commensurate commitment to grow the paramedics and ambulance officer workforce by more than 350.

Objective — Improve the management of recovery, rehabilitation and the end of life care.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

The introduction of a safe, accessible voluntary assisted dying scheme will give eligible South Australians with a terminal illness choice at the end of life and ensure the integrity of the safeguards embedded in the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021. The governance board has been established and draft policy is out for consultation. The law will become operational in early 2023.

Repat Precinct

The Repat Precinct continues to be revitalised with continued planning in surgical facilities, dementia care, and eating disorder services. In 2021-22 the spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hub opened.

Goal 3 — TAILORED: Embed a participatory approach to health services and program design and delivery

Objective — Improve individual and community capability in managing their health and wellbeing.

Strengthen the consumer voice

The Government have committed to enhance the Mental Health Voice in health care. A service agreement has been developed and gone out for consultation There is also a commitment to re-establish an Independent Patient Voice. An agreement with a preferred supplier is currently being prepared.

Improve health workforce capability to embrace participatory approach to health care.

SA Health Workforce Strategy

SA Health Workforce Strategy 2022 has been drafted. Phase 1 of the draft Strategy regarding reviewing and prioritising critical strategic issues is largely complete and Phase 2, focused on critical shortages, has commenced.

Grow frontline staff

The Government has committed to expanding frontline workforce across multiple disciplines, including 100 more doctors, 350 more paramedics and ambulance officers and 300 more nurses. Recruitment planning and execution is underway and, in some instances, will be dependent on infrastructure delivery.

Goal 4 — TIMELY: Everyone working in South Australia’s health system recognises that time is valuable for all members of the community and seeks to minimise waiting in all interactions

Improve patient experience with the health system by positioning ourselves to be able to adopt cost effective emerging technologies and contemporary practice.

Digitalisation of COVID-19

Technology was adapted and implemented to full automate and assist the public with online bookings for PCR testing and vaccinations for COVID-19. The latest updates for testing waiting times were made available to the public to assist with improving patient experience.

Digital Health Strategy

SA Health has a comprehensive digital health strategy to enable patients to connect with clinicians via a variety of channels. In 2021-22 Digital Health delivered the following initiatives to support this strategy: Toms Court Virtual Monitoring Virtual monitoring of patients in Covid-19 positive Medi-Hotel reduced ambulance transfers and ensured medical records were up-to-date. Patient Viewer Successfully piloted a mobile patient record viewer which enabled real time notification of test results to inform clinical decision making irrespective where the clinician was located. Secure Messaging Pilot Electronic discharge summaries were piloted and enabled the secure sharing of discharge summaries from acute care into primary and aged care. Workforce Safety Pilot A digital solution allowed for remote workforce safety monitoring and emergency services escalation protecting our workforce. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) EMR was activated to complete the South Adelaide Local Health Network rollout.

Improve the value and equity of health outcomes of the population by reducing inefficiencies and commissioning for health needs.

Strategic Clinical Services Plan

The Strategic Clinical Services Plan 2021-2031 was developed to assist with planning the way forward and demonstrate how SA Health will address population need, ensure quality and safety within the health care system, rebalance the system and build capacity and capability for the future.

Additional specialist nurses

2021-22 saw the commencement of the negotiation of grant agreements with Non-government Organisations to recruit eight nurses in the priority areas of Epilepsy, Arthritis, and Parkinson’s Disease. Commenced the process to recruit three additional nurses in the areas of Lung Cancer, one in Respiratory and 10 for palliative care across our public health system. This is a total of 22 additional nurses in specialist areas.

New grant agreements to expand services for vulnerable population

Commenced the negotiation of grant agreements with the following three non-government organisations to increase services and access for those population groups requiring support:

  • SIDs For Kids
  • Heart Kids SA
  • Motor Neuron Disease (MND)
SA Consumer and community engagement

Negotiations commenced for a grant agreement with a non-government peak body to develop an Independent Patient Voice Committee to engage consumers and the community on public health policy. The focus will be on the engagement of vulnerable population groups.

Corporate performance summary

Media and Communications

In 2021/22 the Media and Communications branch responded to more than 1,000 media enquiries; participated in more than 200 interviews and more than 100 press conferences; and drafted more than 200 proactive media releases. In addition, the branch issued a daily Covid-19 update to the media and via social media every day of the year, and more than 160 Covid-19 stakeholder updates.

The branch also developed and implemented 12 marketing campaigns to promote public health safety messaging, communicated the details of more than 100 Covid-19 directions to the community and issued more than 50 Covid-19 updates to the CALD community.

SA Health’s social media presence also increased dramatically in 21/22, with Facebook followers increasing by 33 per cent to 421,084 followers by June 2022, with growth also in Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn followers.

The SA Health website use increased significantly, with 13.9 million users (56 per cent increase) and 72.2 million page views (114 per cent increase).

Procurement and Supply Chain

Procurement and Supply Chain have sourced and contracted more than $4.3 billion of goods and services in the last financial year, according to records in the Procurement Contract Management System (PCMS).

During the pandemic, a brand-new state-of-the-art Distribution Centre was opened, with increased picking capability and product lines to cater to SA Health’s rapidly evolving needs. The Distribution Centre has increased efficiency and speed, utilising a Dematic automation auto-storage retrieval system which sees 28 high-speed robots replace the previously manual system. This has allowed the team to pick faster at a rate of up to 500 lines per hour per station and enabled the rollout of equipment across all SA Health medical facilities.

This system allows PPE to be packed ‘Direct to Imprest’ which means consumables are centralised at the Distribution Centre and delivered directly to where they are needed in the order they are required to be picked on the receiving end. This has reduced double handling, duplication of tasks, minimised picking errors and gave larger scope to assist customers more quickly with a faster turnaround. The new modern larger Distribution Centre incorporating increased automation paved the way for SA Health to expand the direct to Imprest model.

The PSCM Customer service and distribution centre expanded operations to service all of South Australia, not only SA Health. PSCM sourced and delivered more than 180 million PPE items. Health Service Support teams across 24 different locations enabled our frontline workers to be protected. This PSCM service expanded to include the wider community when PPE requirements for the entire state were assigned to SA Health. The team supplied masks, face shields and gloves to the CFS, community workers, not-for-profit companies, schools and all aged care facilities across the state to protect the vulnerable.

PSCM mobilised a workforce to create Home Quarantine Kits. Between 3 January and 10 February alone, more than 6,500 kits were distributed to the community and acute facilities. A vaccine logistics team was tasked with setting up and supplying all the vaccine centres across South Australia, with more than 2.5 million vaccine doses transferred to SA Health sites between March 2021 and August 2022.

Supply chain risk assessments conducted by the team improved our risk profile, and Category Managers were able to observe global emerging patterns to predict where PSCM would need to be positioned to best supply essential consumables. Predicting that the need for Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) would increase exponentially, PSCM sourced 26 million RATs to date and has delivered more than 15 million to the community. This enabled mandatory pre-work testing requirements for medical staff, workplaces and education providers, to occur without any shortage in supply. The supply of RATs also allowed critical industries, including food producers through the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), to remain operational.

Corporate Affairs – Correspondence

The Corporate Correspondence Team is responsible for the timely allocation, coordination and oversight of correspondence received by the Minister or Chief Executive (CE), from members of the public, non-government organisations, other government agencies or members of parliament / legislative councils. In addition, Corporate Correspondence Team manage the mail for the Department of Health and Wellbeing and attached offices and in 2021-22 coordinated the procurement and distribution of Rapid Antigen Tests for the Department for Health and Wellbeing and attached offices.

Between 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022 Corporate Correspondence Team:

  • allocated a total of 7,600 CE and Ministerial correspondence, an increase of 42 per cent from the previous financial year.
  • finalised 6,696 pieces of correspondence (combination of self-generated, CE and ministerial correspondence), 25 per cent increase from 2020-2021.
  • posted over 80,935 mail items and
  • Coordinated the availability of 50,174 Rapid Antigen Tests for surveillance testing within DHW.

Employment opportunity programs

Aboriginal Employment Register

12 people listed on the Aboriginal Employment Register were employed

Agency performance management and development systems

Department for Health and Wellbeing Performance Review and Development (PRD) process

Two designated PRD cycles are established for managers to undertake a PRD conversation with direct reports: the first cycle from September to October and the second cycle from March to April.

COVID-19 continued to impact participation rates in 2021-22 as workforce resources were redirected to COVID specific activities.  As at 30 June 2021, 58.58 percent of PRDs were completed.

The Performance Review and Development Policy was reviewed consistent with Premier’s Direction and Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Guideline and released in June 2022.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

COVID-19 Medi-hotel Worker Respirator Fit-testing Program

Particulate filter respirator (PFR) fit-testing programs continue to ensure health care workers and contractors working in high-risk clinical environments, including Covid-19 Medi Hotels, Quarantine Pathway and pandemic response staff are fit tested to appropriate masks within SA Health

A total of 2,179 Medi-hotel staff and contractors have been fit-tested to a respirator, with some fit-tested to more than one respirator

Seasonal Influenza Program

A free Seasonal Influenza (flu) vaccination is available to all SA Health workers. The 2022 SA Health Flu Vaccination Program commenced from April 2022 at various sites and hospitals.  

As at 30 June 2022, 64 percent of staff had received a flu vaccination. The program will continue to operate into the latter half of 2022.

Respectful Behaviour (including bullying and harassment) Policy

The Respectful Behaviours and Bullying and Harassment policies have been updated and combined into the new “Respectful Behaviour (including management of bullying and harassment)” Policy and an associated guideline which outlines the escalation procedure, released on 23 May 2022.

The Bullying and Harassment eLearning training package has been updated to align with the updated Respectful Behaviours Policy, now titled “Respectful Behaviours: creating safe and supportive workplaces”.

An eLearning training program targeted at managers has been developed by Statewide Clinical Support Services and is now being adapted for use across SA Health and will be made available to all LHNs/Health Services. This training is titled “Respectful Behaviour: Preventing and Managing Disrespectful Behaviour in the Workplace for Managers”.

Staff Wellbeing

The mental health and wellbeing of our staff has remained an organisational priority throughout 2021-22, and is fundamental to achieving our goals, as well as benefiting our lives outside of work

There are a number of initiatives and programs already underway across SA Health in Local Health Networks and Health Services, as well as a new Training and Skills package that has been tendered for to specifically support Nurses and Midwives. Work is underway to develop a system-wide approach to address staff wellbeing universally.

SA Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) plays an important role in SA Health ongoing commitment to being a mentally healthy workplace, EAP services enable all staff and their immediate family members to access free counselling services.

EAP continues to be made available by telehealth or phone counselling during 2021-22. EAP utilisation data indicates the SA Health utilisation rate ranging from 0.33 to 5.61 percent.

Nursing Security (Challenging Behaviours)

The SA Health Challenging Behaviour Strategic Framework and associated documents were released on 16 November 2020. The Framework provides consistent high-level broad direction, principles and objectives to enable LHNs, Health Services, SAAS and DHW to work autonomously to prevent and respond to challenging behaviours. A variety of measures have been put in place by the Local Health Networks and SA Ambulance Service, including establishing Challenging Behaviour Committees to actively monitor the implementation of the Framework and to work through strategies to improve safety, security and better respond to complex behaviours.

The Department for Health and Wellbeing, together with the Local Health Networks and SA Ambulance Service, regularly assess security arrangements for those sites where there is a high risk of a security incident. A number of security upgrades are being planned or undertaken within areas impacted by redevelopment works. Four metropolitan Local Health Networks have commenced a project, coordinated by the Department, to facilitate the implementation of the legislative requirements. 

The Department has established a consultative working group with the ANMF and other employee associations to review the SA Health Challenging Behaviour Strategic Framework against the 10-Point Plan to End Violence and Aggression to jointly propose a 10-point action plan.

Workplace injury claims
Workplace injury claims
Workplace injury claims 2021-22 2020-21 %Change (+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims 9 8 +12.5 %
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) 2.43 5.11 -52.4%

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

Data for previous years is available at Data SA

Work health and safety regulations

Work health and safety regulations
Work health and safety regulations 2021-22 2020-21 %Change (+ / -)
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 1 2 -50.0%
Number of provisional improvements, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195) 0 0 0.0%

Data for previous years is available at Data SA

 Return to work costs

Work health and safety regulations
 Return to work costs** 2021-22 2020-21 %Change (+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) $516,341 $547,898 -5.8%
Income support payments – gross ($) $160,102 $263,324 -39.2%

**before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at Data SA

Executive employment in the agency

  • SAES 1 Level  45 executives
  • SAES 2 Level  12 executive

Data for previous years is available at Data SA

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.