The agency's performance (FUNLHN Annual Report 2020-21)

Performance at a glance

In 2020-21 the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network achieved good results in key performance areas including:

  • Meeting targets for all emergency department ‘seen on time’ triage categories.
  • Meeting targets for emergency department patients who left at their own risk.
  • Meeting targets for elective surgery timely admissions.
  • Meeting targets for Mental Health services including acute length of stay, post-discharge community follow up, restraint and seclusion events.
  • Achieving results above targets for positive responses to key consumer experience questions.
  • 97.5 % of complaints acknowledged within two working days and 94%responded to within 35 working days.
  • Meeting targets for safety and quality performance indicators hospital acquired complication rates, hand hygiene compliance rate and potentially preventable admissions.
  • Meeting targets for all Mental Health key performance indicators.
  • Successful accreditation achieved against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards for all health services within the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network until August 2024.
  • Successful accreditation achieved against the National Disability Insurance Scheme Practice Standards until October 2022.
  • Delivering services tailored specifically to the needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities such as the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program, Aboriginal Patient Pathways Officer and Aboriginal Liaison Officer.
  • Continuing to deliver community, in home and residential services within the Country Health Connect Brand. Increasing the number clients provided with a service in areas such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Home Care Packages.

Agency response to COVID-19

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has continued to ensure that the Local Health Network has a robust local COVID-19 Clinical Response Plan. This year the focus has been ensuring COVID-19 testing continues to be readily accessible and establishing a vaccination across the LHN.

Vaccination Centres for both Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccine have been established in Port Augusta and Whyalla, regular outreach clinics have been established in Roxby Downs, Hawker and Leigh Creek.

Aged Care staff and residents were prioritised in the early phases of the roll out, with vaccination now currently available to everyone over 16 years of age in the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network catchment area.

As at the 30 June 2021, 7500 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations had been delivered across the network. In line with state projections, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network is on track to reach 80% vaccination rate by early 2022.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Overall, The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network performed well against the majority of the whole of Government objectives, acknowledging areas of improvement required for the 2020-21 Financial Year.

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.
  • Creating sustainable models for allied health student support in collaboration with university partners.
  • Developing and implementing contemporary Allied Health Assistant Framework and Workforce Model of care.
  • Collaborating with the education sector to encourage graduates to work in rural communities and continue career opportunities by further education.

Lower costs

Costs for consumers were reduced through delivering programs such as:

  • The Patient Assistance Transport Scheme.
  • Timely elective surgery in rural communities.
  • Increasing access to telehealth services.
  • Home-based chronic disease monitoring.

Better Services

Significant service outcomes achieved included the following:

  • All our Health units are supported by the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES), ensuring rural GPs and nurses have access to remote medical support overnight when required.
  • Our Health Units have access to high-quality specialist advice via the Digital Telehealth Network, including through the MedSTAR emergency medical retrieval service.
  • State-wide tele-rehabilitation services are delivered to people in their own homes via an iPad or computer.
  • Clients with chronic conditions were supported through the My Health Point of Care Innovative Technologies Trial (PoCiTT) home monitoring program.
  • The Aged Care Assessment Program ensured that older people could gain timely access to residential aged care, home care packages and transitional care packages.

Agency specific objectives and performance

Improving access to health services in our community

Indicators Performance
Community nursing and allied health service activity
34,019 community nursing and allied health occasions of service were provided to 5,816 individual clients.
Avoidable hospital activity
539 clients with chronic conditions received increased community-based support, resulting in avoiding 459 hospital admissions, 10 emergency department presentations 240 occupied bed days.
Potentially preventable admissions
There were 6.9%potentially preventable admissions, a reduction from 7.4% in 2019-20.
National Disability Insurance Scheme
(NDIS) program activity
177 total active clients at 30 June 2021, including 97 adults and 80 children.

Hospital Services

Indicators Performance
Emergency departments seen on time
Targets met across all triage levels.
Elective surgery timely admissions
Targets met across category 2-3, category 1 was 99.8%.
Tele-rehabilitation consults
367 Tele-rehabilitation consults were held in inpatient and ambulatory settings across the Digital Telehealth Network or other therapeutic applications.
Acute inpatient activity
11,149 same day and 7,998 overnight patients were admitted. 459 babies were delivered.

Continuous Improvement of quality and safety

Indicators Performance
Safety assessment code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents
There were 14 SAC 1 and 2 incidents. An increase of 2 from the previous year.

Overall, SAC 1 and 2 incidents accounts for 0.88% of all reported incidents.

100% of SAC 1 and 2 incidents were openly disclosed.
Hospital acquired complications
0.7%. There were 44 separations with a hospital acquired complication. The funding impact was $54,741.

Aboriginal Health

Indicators Performance
Aboriginal Health – Left emergency department at own risk (target <3%)
2.1%, an increase of 0.9% from the previous year.
Aboriginal Health – left against medical advice (inpatient)
9.48% of overnight Aboriginal admissions left against medical advice.
Aboriginal Family Birthing Program (AFBP)
There were 88 Aboriginal births supported by the AFBP across Port Augusta and Whyalla.
Aboriginal workforce
4.3% at June 2021.

Improving Mental Health Outcomes

Indicators Performance
Restraint incidents per 1,000 bed days
1.8 per 1,000 bed days.
Seclusion incidents per 1,000 bed days
0.0 per 1,000 bed days.
Acute Length of Stay
10.3 days.
Percentage of Mental Health clients seen by a community health service within 7 days of discharge

Aged Care

Indicators Performance
Residential aged care occupancy
Not applicable.
Aged Care Assessment Program assessments
504 assessments completed of the combined total of 884 under the EFN Commonwealth Aged Care Planning Region.
Home Care Package occupancy
Occupancy increased from 65 to 87 packages from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, a 33%increase.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) client numbers
1,478 individual CHSP clients enabling older people to remain independent in their own home for longer.

Corporate performance summary

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network achieved key performance outcomes including:

  • 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 relevant screening.
  • Maintaining a high level of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employees.

Employment opportunity programs

Skilling SA

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has supported ten employees to undertake training under the Skilling SA Project as at 30 June 2020. One undertaking Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice, three undertaking Certificate III in Health Support Services, one undertaking Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistant and five undertaking Certificate IV in Health Administration.

Employees who commenced training prior to 30 June 2019 are nearing completion of their relevant Certificates.

Growing Leaders

Four employees from varying disciplines undertook the Growing Leaders Program during this financial year.

Manager Essentials

Via the SA Leadership Academy, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has support one employee to undertake this program.

Enrolled Nurse Cadets

Four Enrolled Nurse Cadets commenced employment with the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network over this past year.

  • Quorn Hospital – 1
  • Port Augusta Hospital -1
  • Whyalla Hospital – 1
  • Quorn / Port Augusta Hospital – 1

Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP)

There were 17 (1 more than 2019/20) Registered Nurses that commenced employment as TPPPs within the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network.0020

  • Roxby Downs Hospital– 1
  • Quorn Hospital – 1
  • Whyalla Hospital – 8
  • Port Augusta Hospital (Port Augusta Hospital based TPPPs on rotation to Hawker Memorial Hospital) – 7

Agency performance management and development systems

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

95.43% of employees participated in an annual performance review and development discussion.

74.97% of employees have participated in a 6 monthly performance review and development discussion.

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network continues to foster a strong commitment to the recruitment and retainment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, striving to continue to build capacity and capability of our workforce to bring about a positive impact on the care provided to Aboriginal patients and families within a culturally safe environment.

All employees are required to undertake on-line Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training. As at 30/06/21, 94% of employees had completed this training.

All employees are required to attend and participate in face to face Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training on an annual basis. Full and half day training sessions are delivered two days per week at alternate sites across the Local Health Network.

Recruitment via the Aboriginal Employment Register is an available option to pursue in recruitment processes.

Recruitment to positions identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific is achievable via exemption currently in place.

4.2% of employees identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Prevention and management of musculoskeletal injury (MSI)

There were 9 new MSI claims in 2020-21, compared to 8 in 2019-20, an increase of 1 (13%). New MSI claims accounted for 39 percent of new claims received.

Prevention and management of Psychological injury (PSY)

There were 5 new PSY claims received in 2020-21, compared to 1 in 2019-20, an increase of 4 (400%). New PSY claims accounted for 22 percent of new claims.

Prevention and management of slips, trips and falls (STF)

There were 7 new STF claims received in 2020-21, compared to 1 in 2019-20, an increase of 6 (600%). New STF claims accounted for 30 percent of new claims.

Management of work-related injury

The average cost of a new claim has decreased by 14% ($783). This is due to a collaborative approach between injury management practitioners, human resources practitioners, work health and safety practitioner and Managers to support early intervention and proactive return to work.

Workplace injury claims

Workplace injury claims Current year 2020-21 Past year 2019-20 % Change (+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims
23 11 12 (109%)
Fatalities 0 0 -
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 -
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)
10 2 8 (400%)

*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 2020-21 Past year 2019-20 % Change (+ / -)
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3).
1 2 -50%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195). 14 0 1400%

Return to work costs

Return to work costs** Current year 2020-21 Past year 2019-20 % Change (+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)
Income support payments – gross ($)

**before third party recovery
Data for previous years is available at:

Executive employment in the agency

  • SAES1  1
  • RN6A06  1
  • Md029G  1

Data for previous years is available at: 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.