Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Annual Report 2019-2020

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network
71 Hospital Road, Port Augusta, South Australia 5700
Contact phone number: (08) 8668 7501
Contact email: Health.FUNLHNCommunications@sa.gov.au

ISSN: 2652-6654

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 the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987 and the Health Care Act 2008 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

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

Submitted on behalf of the Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network by:

Craig Packard
Chief Executive Officer
Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network

Bevan Francis
Chair Governing Board
Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network

Date: 25 September 2020

From the Chief Executive Officer

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network (FUNLHN) was established from 1 July 2019, following the devolution of Country Health SA Local Health Network to six regional local health networks.

The FUNLHN includes the location of health services at Whyalla, Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, Quorn, Hawker and Leigh Creek and the responsibility for oversight of remote area clinics at Maree and Andamooka.

I was appointed as Acting CEO of the FUNLHN from November 2019 and subsequently appointed as CEO for a three-year term to 5 July 2023, following the retirement of Ros McRae former CEO. I want to sincerely thank Ros for her longstanding dedication to the health services in our region; and more specifically to her leadership through the transition and development of the new FUNLHN entity and her guidance to me over this period.

The achievements of the FUNLHN in our first year have been amazing, particularly given the enormity of also managing the challenges and impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Our staff response and dedication to meet the needs of our community has been humbling and reinforces the quality of the health services we have across our region. I thank all our staff, medical officers and community partners for their continued support during these unprecedented times.

This year we have established our Executive Team to have the leadership required across all aspects of the organisation in delivering safe high quality services and to drive the strategic directions of the FUNLHN Board.

In this first year, under the new SA Health governance structure, we have been able to develop and release stage one of the FUNLHN Service Plan, which involved very broad consultation with many community groups and consumers, clinicians, Health Advisory Councils and other community partners. This plan will be a valuable resource for the development of medical services and models of care in our region over the coming years.

The FUNLHN Service Plan will also be closely aligned to the release of the SA Rural Medical Workforce Plan and a significant consultation process was also conducted this year with our medical workforce and regional medical officers.

The SA Rural Medical Workforce Plan will specifically guide the development of our medical services and staffing requirements.

This year we have commenced the expansion and redevelopment of the Whyalla Renal Dialysis Unit, which includes the development of new consulting rooms for visiting Urologists, Cardiologists and other specialist services.

I am also pleased that we have been able to strengthen and develop new partnerships with other organisations and companies, which I see as a great step to expand and explore new opportunities for funding and innovative ways to deliver services to our communities. During 2020, we were successful in obtaining a grant through the BHP Vital Resources Funds to develop a dedicated respiratory room in response to the potential for Covid-19 related patient attendances.

This year we have expanded our profiling to our communities and consumers through increased media communication, the development of the FUNLHN Facebook site and the increase of engagement of consumers in our service. The Board approved the implementation of a new full time position – Manager of Community Engagement which is immediately improving the linkages with our health services, Governing Board and our consumers. I would like to thank the Health Advisory Councils in our region for their dedication to ensure consumer’s views are well represented and to assist our health service engage in our communities.

In a very challenging year, the FUNLHN finished the financial year in a slightly favourable position, which is a testament to the attention of high-level management in our organisation, however I recognise that there are many challenges ahead of us to deliver and provide the highest quality services possible given restraints of funding commissioned by the state. There has been a reduction of activity this year in acute attendances; however, we have increased out of hospital and community services relating to community aged care packages, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other Commonwealth Community Programs.

Lastly, I want to thank the FUNLHN Board for their commitment to me to lead the organisation into the future. I am well supported by a dedicated and loyal Executive Team and a depth of experienced staff across the whole region. I am focused on the vision to provide the highest quality services to the people of our communities and while we will face many challenges ahead, I look forward to the journey and I am confident in the ongoing development of the FUNLHN.

Craig Packard
Chief Executive Officer
Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network

From the Board Chair

The 2019-2020 Financial year has been extremely exciting for the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network (FUNLHN) Board.

As the inaugural year, we officially commenced on the 1st July 2019 with six highly skilled and dedicated Board members who quickly gelled to form a competent team with whom I feel privileged to Chair. Under legislation, the Board is required to be skill based with a mix of skills including legal, financial, clinical, Aboriginal, governance and business. FUNLHN is extremely fortunate to have a diverse group covering all the required skills, and I thank them for their efforts.

Operationally, FUNLHN was essentially starting as a new entity in as much as a new Executive team needed to be created. I thank Ros McRae, our initial CEO, for overseeing this process to develop an excellent team. Ros’ enormous local corporate history of the region was a great asset for the FUNLHN board in its formative months. After many years of public service, Ros decided to retire in March 2020 after taking extended leave from November 2019. Her service, particularly as a successful Regional Director under the previous County Health and as FUNLHN’s initial CEO is very much appreciated. Craig Packard was appointed as acting CEO following Ros McRae’s leave.

The Board engaged respected executive recruitment agency, Hardy Group, to utilise their expertise and contacts nationally, internationally and locally to assist us in recruiting a replacement CEO. I was pleased to announce Craig Packard as the successful applicant. The Board looks forward to working with Craig in setting the strategic direction for the FUNLHN.

From a governance perspective, initial tasks centred on establishing protocols and procedures for ensuring good governance. Board committees for Audit and Risk, Finance and Performance, Clinical Governance and Community and Consumer Engagement were quickly established to assist the board in these important areas, and I thank the Chairs of those committees for their valuable input.

Work commenced on developing clinical and community engagement strategies considered important in informing the Board of the required strategic direction. The Board adopted the previous Country Health strategic plan while a FUNLHN strategic plan was being developed. Unfortunately, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these processes were put on hold to allow the Executive team to deal with this crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic was indeed an unprecedented and challenging time for all staff. I cannot say enough in appreciation for their efforts in very quickly establishing the protocols should the pandemic spread. I am so proud to be part of an organisation with such dedicated and skilled staff.

The 2019-2020 year has been a formative year for the FUNLHN Board. We now look forward to continuing to work with the community and all consumers, staff and clinicians in developing safe and required services for the future.

Bevan Francis
Board Chair
Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network

Overview: about the agency

Official Acknowledgement to Country:

We acknowledge the Aboriginal custodians of the Land and waters within the Footprint of the Flinders and Upper North Region. We respect their spiritual relationship with their country and acknowledge that their cultural beliefs are an important focus of their past, present and future.

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network delivers a safe, reliable and consumer focussed health service, meeting changing needs and strengthening health outcomes for all.
Our Vision The best rural health service
Our Values
  • Customer Focus
  • Collaboration
  • Caring
  • Creativity
  • Courage
Our functions, objectives and deliverables Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network provides a range of public acute, residential aged care, community health and mental health services to country-based South Australians. Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network’s objectives are:
  • Build innovative and high performing health service models that deliver outstanding consumer experience and health outcomes
  • Pursue excellence in all that we do
  • Create vibrant, values-based place to work and learn
  • Harness the power of partnerships to improve the effectiveness of services
  • Elevate and enhance the level of health in country communities
  • Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network’s key deliverables are:
  • Provide safe, high quality health and aged care services
  • Engage with the local community and local clinicians
  • Ensure patient care respects the ethnic, cultural and religious rights, views, values and expectations of all people
  • Ensure the health needs of Aboriginal people are considered in all health plans, programs and models of care
  • Meet legislation, regulations, Department for Health and Wellbeing policies and agreements

Our organisational Structure

Changes to the agency

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

  • Through Governance reform the Local Health Network became an entity of its own standing to form the Local Health Network as Country Health SA was dissolved on June 30, 2019
  • From 1 July 2019 the LHN had establishment of Chief Executive Officer and a Local Governing Board

Our Minister

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

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

Our Executive team

Craig Packard, Chief Executive Officer, is accountable to the Governing Board for the provision, management and administration of health services and achieving the overall performance of the public health system for the Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network.

Angela McLachlan, Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery, responsible for the delivery of Nursing and Midwifery professional services across the Local Health Network. Angela also leads the Quality, Risk and Safety Team and is Chair of the Operational Clinical Governance Committee.

Dr Nes Lian-Lloyd, Executive Director Medical Services, responsible for ensuring clinical governance for the delivery of safe, high quality medical care.

Oversight and coordination of medical staff and medical service contracts in the Local Health Network, including oversight of recruitment and orientation of new Medical Officers.

Cheryl Russ, Executive Director Community and Allied Health, responsible for the efficient and effective management of the Community Health Services resulting in the provision of a range of community and hospital based health services responsive to the identified needs of the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network.

Trevor Byles, Director Corporate Services, responsible for managing, developing, coordinating and monitoring significant very high-level quality and critical, corporate and business services that support the effective operation of health units across the LHN.

Glenise Coulthard AM, Director Aboriginal Health is responsible to the Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network CEO in initiating, planning, implementing, coordinating and delivering Aboriginal Health programs across the region and providing high-level strategic leadership in expanding concepts and programs throughout.

Our Governing Board

Bevan Francis B.Ac GAICD, Chair of the Governing Board.

Bevan Francis has had a long-standing career in the South Australian public service since 1988. Bevan was Executive Director of Finance and Infrastructure for Country Health SA until 2009 and has also worked for SA Health in the Flinders and Upper North region in various finance and management roles.

From 1998–2006, Bevan was Regional General Manager, Northern and Far Western Regional Health Services. During this time, he was accountable to the Board of Directors and responsible for intra-regional coordination, strategic planning and resource allocation for health services and facilities within the Northern and Far Western Region of SA. Bevan resides in Port Augusta and has also lived in Whyalla.

He has a deep understanding of the region, is a strong advocate for community engagement and is committed to working with the Aboriginal Health services across the region.

Garnett Brady PSM, Director of the Governing Board.

Garnett Brady is an Adnyamathanha/Yankunytjatjara man from Port Augusta with significant experience in health and community services across the region.

Most recently he was founder/owner and manager of Flinders Crest Services Incorporated, a labour hire business employing Aboriginal people through labour hire arrangements with contractors on the BHP Olympic Dam mine site at Roxby Downs, finishing in the role in 2015.

Garnett had previously been employed as Community Manager Bungala Aboriginal Corporation at Ernabella and Fregon Communities in the APY Lands, Manager Aboriginal Health Unit, Port Augusta Hospital and Far Northern Regional Health Services, Social Worker, Department of Family and Community Services and CEO Pika Wiya Health Service.

He has also previously served on the Boards of Pika Wiya Health Service and the Port Augusta Hospital Inc. Garnett brings significant experience in Aboriginal Health to the Governing Board.

John Lynch OAM, Director of the Governing Board.

John Lynch served with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) for 32 years, and was the Chief Executive Officer of RFDS Central Operations, finishing in December 2018. John initially joined the RFDS at its Broken Hill Base as an Accountant in 1986. He was appointed Chief Finance Officer of RFDS Central Operations serving SA and NT in 1991 and assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer in December 2000, and served in this role for 18 years.

John possesses outstanding business acumen and financial management skills and oversaw unprecedented growth and financial security of the organisation. John holds a Bachelor of Health Science Management, is a Fellow of the National Institute of Public Accountants, an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Executives and a Member of the Australian institute of Company Directors.

John brings finance and governance experience along with rural and remote primary health care practice experience to the Governing Board.

Suzy Graham, Director of the Governing Board.

Suzy Graham holds Bachelor degrees in Arts and Laws, and has worked as a lawyer since 1999. Since 2005 Suzy has been self-employed, initially with her practice Adelaide Family Law in Adelaide, before relocating and establishing Spencer Gulf Law in Port Augusta in 2007.

Within her legal practice, Suzy provides advice and representation in criminal matters, family law, wills and estates, conveyancing, commercial transactions, youth justice, child protection and advises in a range of other areas.

Suzy is an active member of the Port Augusta community, volunteering across a number of associations. Suzy is an Executive Board Member of Business Port Augusta, Committee member, Country Practitioners’ Committee, Law Society of SA and Business Representative on the committee of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

Suzy has well established relationships with a number of government and non-government entities within the FUNLHN. Suzy brings legal expertise, business experience and broad local community knowledge to the Governing Board.

Suzy is board member, Audit and Risk Committee of the Governing Board.

Mark Whitfield, Director of the Governing Board.

Mark Whitfield is currently Presiding Member Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, Director NRM Regions Australia Ltd and formerly Chair of the Whyalla Special Education Centre. Until recently, Mark was Executive Manager of the Spencer Gulf Rural Health School. He has previously worked in other roles in regional development, health and education in Whyalla and on Eyre Peninsula and in the Far North of the State and in local government.

He has also previously held Board roles as Chairman Lifeline Country to Coast SA Inc., Chairman D'faces of Youth Arts Inc. and President Riding for the Disabled Whyalla, and Executive Member Riding for the Disabled SA. Mark is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. Mark has lived in Whyalla since 2001. He has a strong record of volunteering on a variety of community organisation Boards.

Karyn Reid, Director of the Governing Board.

Karyn Reid is currently a private consultant undertaking complex community consultation and mixed method evaluations to a range of health, community and local government organisations.

Previously a General Registered Nurse working across multiple clinical fields, she has held the positions of Community Health Manager, Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health Service Inc., and CEO of the Coober Pedy Hospital. She has also been employed as the Director of Nursing of a 50 bed Residential Aged Care facility, Project Facilitator and Evaluator for multiple community Alcohol Management Plans, Consultant CEO Flinders and Far North Division of General Practice Inc, and Consultant Manager, Community Mental Health Team, Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health Service Inc,

Karyn has a keen interest in health consumer participation and experience as a consumer and community advocate. She was Presiding Member, Port Augusta, Roxby Downs and Woomera Health Advisory Council, for five years until May 2019; and the country consumer representative for the Country Health SA Clinical Governance Committee for two years until May 2019.

She has held professional memberships of the South Australian Directors of Nursing Association, the Australian Nurses Federation, the Infection Control Association of SA and the Sterilizing Technology Association of SA.

Karyn brings health practitioner and rural health management experience to the Governing Board. She is currently the Chair, Consumer and Community Engagement Committee of the Board; and board member, Clinical Governance Committee of the Board.

Suzy is board member, Audit and Risk Committee of the Governing Board.

Geri Malone, Director of the Governing Board.

Geri Malone has had a career with a very strong focus on rural and remote health ranging from clinical roles, management, education and professional development to policy and advocacy.

Her expertise lies in the remote and rural health context. Key areas include but are not limited to workforce issues, recruitment and retention, professional development needs, support of the workforce to meet professional standards to deliver health services in the unique models of care, and development and implementation of robust Clinical Governance frameworks to ensure safe quality services, models of service delivery that meet that needs of communities.

Geri has policy and advocacy experience at national level, experience on numerous advisory and working groups, and extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and building collaborative relationships. She is currently a Board member of Resthaven Inc, and Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations and has previously been a Board member and Chair of the National Rural Health Alliance and a Board member of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and CRANAplus. Geri is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, with a Graduate Certificate in Remote Health Practice and a Masters of Public Health. Geri is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She brings rural and remote health service delivery and clinical governance experience to the Governing Board.

Legislation administered by the agency


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

Hawker District Memorial Health Advisory Council

Leigh Creek Health Services Health Advisory Council

Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, Woomera Health Advisory Council

Quorn Health Services Health Advisory Council

Whyalla Hospital and Health Services Health Advisory Council

The agency’s performance

Performance at a glance

In 2019-20 Flinders and Upper North LHN achieved well 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 all elective surgery timely admissions and overdue patient categories prior to the introduction of COVID-19 elective surgery restrictions.
  • Meeting targets for Mental Health services including post discharge community follow up rate, seclusion and restraint episode rates.
  • Achieving above targets for positive responses to key consumer experience questions.
  • Achieving targets in safety and quality performance indicators including potentially preventable admissions, hand hygiene compliance rates and hospital acquired complications rates.
  • Delivering services tailored specifically to the needs of local Aboriginal populations such as Aboriginal Family Birthing Program and Aboriginal Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy.
  • Growing renal dialysis services through an expansion and upgrade to the Whyalla Hospital Renal Unit.
  • Continuing to deliver community, in-home and residential services within the Country Health Connect brand.
  • All sites are accredited under the Australian Council Healthcare Standards.
  • Effective transition of governance arrangement to governing boards form July 1 2019.
  • Implementing an emergency command structure for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 2019-20 Financial Year.

Key objective Agency’s contribution
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.
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

Agency objectives Indicators Performance
Improving access to health services in our community Community nursing and allied health activity service activity 35,969 community nursing and allied health occasions of service were provided to 5,907 individual clients.
Avoidable hospital activity 561 clients with chronic conditions received increased community-based support, resulting in avoiding 503 hospital admissions, 2 emergency department presentations, and 320 occupied bed days.
Potentially preventable admissions There were 7.4% potentially preventable admissions, a reduction from 8% in 2018-19.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program activity 161 total active clients at 30 June 2020, including 77 adult and 84 child clients.
Hospital services Emergency departments seen on time Targets met across all triage levels
Elective surgery timely admissions Targets were met prior to COVID-19 elective surgery restrictions.
Telerehabilitation consultations 560 Tele rehabilitation consultations were held in inpatient and ambulatory settings across the Digital Telehealth Network or other therapeutic applications.
Acute inpatient activity 4,707 same-day patients and 3,996 overnight patients were admitted. 455 babies were delivered.

Agency objectives Indicators Performance
Continuous improvement of quality and safety Safety assessment code (SAC) 1 and 2 incidents There were 12 SAC 1 and 2 incidents, compared to 10 the previous year (a 20% increase). Overall there was a 3% decrease in reporting of patient incidents, with SAC 1 and 2 incidents accounting for 0.7% of all incidents reported.
Hospital acquired complications (HAC) 0.7% at June YTD, a reduction of 0.1% the previous year (target <1%).
Aboriginal Health Aboriginal Health – Left ED at own risk 1.2% (target less than 3%), reduction from 1.8% the previous year.
Aboriginal Health – left against medical advice (inpatient) 8.5%, equivalent to 124 patients, left against medical advice (target 4.5%).
Aboriginal percentage of workforce Targets met, 4% at June 2020.
Improving Mental Health Outcomes Restraint incidents per 1,000 bed days 1.2 incidents per 1,000 bed days
Seclusion incidents per 1,000 bed days 0 seclusions incidents per 1,000 bed days
Percentage of Mental Health clients seen by a community health service within 7 days of discharge 91% (target >80%)
Aged Care Residential aged care occupancy 94%
Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) assessments 838 ACAP assessments completed within the EFFN Commonwealth Aged Care Planning Region.
Home Care Package occupancy rates Occupancy rates increased from 43 to 59, a 37% increase.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) client numbers 1,631 individual CHSP clients, enabling older people to remain independent in their own home for longer.

Aboriginal Health Program

Meeting key performance measures in the area of Aboriginal Health and exceeding these expectations by the aspiration to be a Centre for Excellence in Aboriginal health is a key objective for our region.

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network achieved the following:

  • Manager Aboriginal Health was aligned to the Director Aboriginal Health with the devolution of CHSALHN.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Support Committee meets quarterly to provide leadership and works collaboratively to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, activities and NSQHS standards criteria relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare into the whole of Local Health Networks operations. This is a Tier 2 Committee.
  • Aboriginal Health Community Forum to inform Aboriginal organisations, community and consumers of the new SA Health reforms that came in to effect on 1 July 2019. This was also an opportunity for the community to meet members of the FUNLHN Board and Executive.
  • The Step Down Unit continues to maintain a consistent flow of remote clients accessing the facility for the healing and recovery of patients who need extra supportive care and monitoring by medical and allied health staff.
  • Meeting the SA Health KPI of 4% for Aboriginal workforce. Several times we have exceeded this KPI in July, February, April and May. All Aboriginal Staff in FUNLHN were surveyed seeking information on Recruitment and Retention, Performance Development Reviews, Accessing Cultural Leave, Mentoring and Support. FUNLHN Aboriginal workforce forum was planned during Reconciliation week but due to COVID-19 has been rescheduled.
  • Recruitment of an Aboriginal Project Officer in February and the introduction of the Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Program (ACAP) delivered face to face commenced in March across our LHN.
  • KPI of 4.5% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA), the workgroup continues to meet monthly, comprehensively reviewing all Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander self-discharge episodes.

Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander overnight inpatient activity decreased as a result of COVID-19. In March there were 0 LAMA discharges and April and May LAMA discharged were slightly above 4.5%.

  • Aboriginal Maternal Infant Care worker in the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program achieved her 100 birth.
  • Reconciliation Statements acknowledging our Aboriginal Custodians within the footprint of FUNLHN are hung in meeting rooms and at entrances to our health units. Leigh Creek and Quorn Health Units have greeting signs in the local Aboriginal language.
  • FUNLHN board adopted the Country Health SA Aboriginal Community and Consumer Engagement Strategy (ACCE). Currently 47 Experts by Experience are registered and actively participate in reviewing health literature and providing advice in planning, design and relocation of the Child Health Development Team. Aboriginal Art work at the entrance of the Port Augusta Hospital, the ground and first floor of the Administration building are displayed through engagement with local Aboriginal artist.
  • The Aboriginal Health Unit engages regularly with our Experts by Experience especially during March – June at the height of COVID-19, providing regular updates from SA Health, information on ‘Protect your mob and stop the spread’ and contact details and links to Mental Health services both locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Welcoming environments such as ‘Our Reconciliation Wall’ and SA Aboriginal Languages are displayed in both the Port Augusta and Whyalla Hospitals
  • Adopting the Country Health SA Reconciliation Action Plan 2018 – 2020. Developed our Terms of Reference and Reconciliation Committee to initiate our FUNLHN RAP. RAP Committee is chaired by Director of People and Culture and supported by Project Officer of the Aboriginal Health Unit as co-chair.
  • FUNLHN staff celebrated NAIDOC and Reconciliation week with Staff and community with BBQ lunch, Aboriginal Health Displays, Performances by ‘Dusty Feet dance group and Welcome to Country by Aboriginal Custodians. Our Annual NAIDOC events are always well attended by the Aboriginal Community. These events give our staff and community an opportunity to engage in a safe and culturally appropriate space.
  • Over 35 Agencies attended the Flinders Family Fun Day held in Leigh Creek with good attendance from the communities of Beltana, Copley, Marree, Iga Warta, Nepabunna, Lyndhurst and Leigh Creek.

This community event has a Health including environmental health, Culture, Education and Employment focus.

Corporate performance summary

Flinders & 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 and Relevant Screening
  • Maintaining a high level of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander employees
  • Adopting the Country Health SA Reconciliation Action Plan for 2018-2020 and commencing the development of the Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network’s Reconciliation Action Plan

Employment opportunity programs

Program name Performance
Skilling SA Under the Skilling SA Program, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has supported 11 employees to undertake training relevant to their discipline including 7 staff undertaking Cert IV in Allied Health Assistant, 2 staff undertaking Cert IV in Health Administration and 2 staff undertaking Diploma of Practice Management.
Growing Leaders Under the Growing Leaders Training Program, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has supported 12 employees to undertake the Growing Leaders Program.
Manager Essentials Via the SA Leadership Academy, Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has supported 4 staff to undertake this program.
Enrolled Nurse Cadets 2 Enrolled Nurse Cadets commenced employment with the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network 1 located at Quorn Health Service 1 located at Port Augusta Hospital
Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP) 16 Registered Nurses commenced employment as TPPP’s within the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network. 1 located at Quorn Health Service 8 located at Whyalla Hospital and Health Service 6 located at Port Augusta Hospital 1 located at Roxby Downs Health Service

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system Performance
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. 92.41% of staff had an annual performance review and development discussion. 72.0% of staff had a 6 monthly performance review and development discussion.
The Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network (FUNLHN) continues to foster a strong commitment to the recruitment and retainment of Aboriginal & 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. As at 30/06/20, 4% of employees within the Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. 9 – Nursing 19 – Salaried 10 – Weekly Paid 1 – Other
Mandatory Training Compliance As at 30/06/20, the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network identified 78% compliance.
Criminal History and Relevant Screening As at 30/06/20, the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network identified 100% compliance.
Flu Vax As at 30/06/20, the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network identified 78% compliance
Immunisation Compliance As at 30/06/20, Immunisation Compliance was: Hawker: Cat A: 100% Cat B: 100% Cat C: 100% Leigh Creek: Cat A: 100% Cat B: 100% Cat C: N/A Whyalla: Cat A: 73% Cat B: 71% Cat C: 100% Port Augusta: Cat A: 94% Cat B: 79% Cat C: N/A Quorn: Cat A: 95.75% Cat B: 100% Cat C: 100% Roxby Downs: Cat A: 80% Cat B: 100% Cat C: 100%

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name Performance
Prevention and management of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network recorded 8 new MSI claims in 2019-20. This was 3 less than the previous year of 11 in 2018-19, a decrease of 27%. New MSI claims accounted for 73% of new claims submitted.
Prevention and management of psychological injury 1 new PSY claim was received in 2019-20. This was 1 less than the previous year of 2 claims in 2018-19, a decrease of 50%. PSY claims accounted for 9% of new claims.
Prevention and management of slips, trips and falls (ST&Fs) 1 new STF claim received in 2019-20. This was 1 more than the previous year of 0. New STF claims accounted for 9% of new claims.

Workplace injury claims Current year
Past year 2018-19 Actual Change
(+ / -)
Total new workplace injury claims 11 15 -4
Fatalities 0 0 0
Seriously injured workers* 0 0 0
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE) 2 5 -3

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

Work health and safety regulations Current year 2019-20 Past year 2018-19 Actual Change
(+ / -)
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 2 0 2
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195) 0 0 0

Return to work costs** Current year 2019-20 Past year 2018-19 Actual Change
(+ / -)
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($) 117,359 239,336 -121,977
Income support payments – gross ($) 61,908 127,783 -65,875

**before third party recovery

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see :


Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives
RN6A06 1
MD029G 1

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see:


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

Financial performance

Financial performance at a glance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2019-20 are attached to this report.

Statement of Comprehensive Income 2019-20 Budget
2019-20 Actual
Past Year 2018-19 Actual
Total Income 131,337 133,836 2,499 N/A
Total Expenses 135,962 137,820 (1,858) N/A
Net Result (4,625) (3,984) 641 N/A
Total Comprehensive Result (4,625) (3,984) 641 N/A

Statement of Financial Position 2019-20 Budget
2019-20 Actual
Past year 2018-19 Actual
Current assets 0 7,014 7,014 N/A
Non-current assets 0 127,597 127,597 N/A
Total assets 0 134,611 134,611 N/A
Current liabilities 0 20,611 (20,611) N/A
Non-current liabilities 0 46,440 (46,440) N/A
Total liabilities 0 67,051 (67,051) N/A
Net assets 0 67,560 (67,560) N/A
Equity 0 67,560 (67,560) N/A

NOTE: As this is the first year of operation of FUNLHN, a comparison with the previous year is not applicable for 2019-20.

Consultants disclosure

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

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each

Consultancies Purpose $ Actual payment
Nil Nil Nil

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

Consultancies Purpose $ Actual payment
Nil Nil $ 0.00
  Total $ 0.00

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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

Contractors disclosure

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

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000

Contractors Purpose $ Actual payment
All contractors below $10,000 each - combined Various $2875

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each

Contractors Purpose $ Actual payment
HCA – Healthcare Australia Agency $321,718
Cornerstone Medical Recruitment Agency $157,801
Rural Locum Scheme PTY LTD Agency $104,648
Allied Employment Group PTY LTD Agency $80,013
Careers Connections International PTY LTD Agency $54,974
Your Nursing Agency PTY LTD Agency $34,374
  Total $ 753,528

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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

The website also provides details of across government contracts.

Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

FUNLHN Board have established an Audit and Risk Board Committee (ARC) with external Chairperson to assist the FUNLHN Board with fulfilling its responsibilities regarding risk management, audit and assurance.

The ARC meets quarterly and receives regular risk reports from FUNLHN as well as audit reports conducted by the Auditor-General’s office, Department of Health and Wellbeing (DHW), and Internal Audits by the Rural Support Service (RSS).

FUNLHN have implemented a local Risk Management Procedure, which is consistent with the System-Wide Risk Management Policy Directive, providing staff with specific guidance on context, identification, analysis, evaluation, treatment, monitoring and communication of risk.

A consistent Audit Charter has been developed by the RSS and implemented in FUNLHN enabling the internal audit function to be delivered by the RSS. The Charter provides guidance and authority for audit activities.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud Number of instances
Misconduct 1

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

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

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

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Governing Board notes all Policy Directives relating to SA Heath and a process is established to implement polices through operational committees and structures. The SA Health Corruption Control Policy and Public Interest Disclosure Policy Directives are followed relating to risk of fraud. Allegations of fraud, including financial delegation breaches, are reported to the Board by Management. Shared Services SA provide a report to the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Chief Finance Officer providing details of any expenditure that has occurred outside of procurement and approved delegations. These breaches are reviewed and reported to the Board.

All Board members and senior management are required to declare any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest. The register of interest is reviewed regularly and a standing item at the Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Governing Board Meetings.

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Board ensure that all employees complete SA Public Sector Code of Ethics training at orientation sessions. The Management team also provide updates to the Board from a Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network task group established to ensure sound administrative, contractual and attendance management processes are embedded in the Local Health Network.

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

Public interest disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018: 1

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

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

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Act or Regulation Requirement
Nil Not Applicable

Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network involves consumers, communities and carers in the planning, design and evaluation of our health services. We do this through (but not limited to) Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network Board Consumer and Community Engagement Committee, Health Advisory Councils, Community Network Register and with consumer representation on operational committees. Advocacy and advice is sought from specialist groups including our Aboriginal Experts by Experience panel, and representatives for mental health, aged care, child and youth care, disability and other groups.

Consumer feedback is actively sought about the services we provide. This data is collected and collated according to SA Health requirements and provided in full to staff and consumers as a tool for both staff and consumer driven service improvement.

The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network has a staff orientation program which educates staff about the carers charter and other relevant consumer engagement strategies.

In February 2020 The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network commenced development of a Consumer Engagement Strategic Framework. This process encompasses consultation with consumers, carers, lived experience groups, and other representative groups from across our region and will result in a Consumer and Community Strategic Engagement Framework which :

  • is endorsed by our consumers and staff
  • outlines unique and specific engagement techniques for our communities and vulnerable groups within our communities
  • enables further development of consumer and carer partnership approaches to health service provision, governance and evaluation
  • embodies our commitment to enabling measures such as human resourcing and training dedicated to consumer and carer engagement functions

Consumers and carers will also be involved in the development of the LHN’s strategic plan.

Public complaints

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

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 24
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided Not applicable
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge Not applicable
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with consumers 11
Communication Confidentiality Consumers confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly 4
Service delivery Systems/technology System offline; inaccessible to consumer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design 4
Service delivery Access to services Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities 3
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 Not applicable
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer Not applicable
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose Not applicable
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English Not applicable
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met 24
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness 16
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations 10
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate Not applicable
Treatment Treatment Treatment; Inadequate; coordination; medication; rough/painful; infection control; negligent; adverse outcome; diagnosis 35
Corporate Services Administrative Services Hotel services; smoking on hospital grounds; entertainment; hygiene/environmental services; grounds; car parking 30
    Total 162

Note: the section below is mandated

Additional Metrics Total
Number of positive feedback comments 270
Number of negative feedback comments 144
Total number of feedback comments 450
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes 95%

With effect from 1 July 2019, six new Regional LHNs replaced Country Health SA Local Health Network.

To access data published for reporting periods prior to 2019-20, please see: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/dataset/country-health-sa-local-health-network

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019-20 (current year)

  • Improved signage across health units with consumer involvement
  • Increased maintenance of health unit grounds, including specific beautification of facilities / rooms as altered to need by consumers
  • Increased staff awareness of inpatient boarder options and revision of the boarder procedure
  • Welcoming environments created for Aboriginal consumers by the installation of art work, language displays and cultural maps across health units.
  • ‘Quiet Room’ incorporated in to Whyalla Hospital Emergency and High Dependency Department redevelopment planning
  • Improved patient menu choices and review of quality of meals
  • Consumer led ‘ visual’ discharge pathways for joint replacement patients
  • Review of the Emergency Department Nursing Model in Whyalla
  • Increased partnerships between clinical staff, patients and their family to improve patient centred care and discharge planning.
  • New format for the distribution of clinical learning for staff
  • Additional staff education provided for areas of need such as customer service, HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), triage systems, Service Matters – Going the Extra Mile, Respectful Behaviour, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Bedside Handover
  • Reviewed disability access at some sites
  • Increased monitoring of smoking on hospital grounds and authorised staff to issue expiation notices

Service Matters - Going the Extra Mile

This training program is a consumer driven training program offered to staff to improve the patient experience when accessing our health services. It was developed by Country Health SA in 2016 and has been used in FUNLHN to encourage and challenge staff to consider the patient experience from a consumer perspective, which enhances communication, respectful approaches and consumer participation in their own care.

The training is unique to our region in that it successfully incorporates dual facilitation of the training session by a consumer and a staff member. Over 400 staff members have completed this training, and we have noted a reduction in consumer complaints in relation to the criteria of "communication".

Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA)

This workgroup is an initiative of the Aboriginal Health Directorate and involves appropriate clinical staff and Aboriginal Liaison Officers meeting on a regular basis to discuss comments from Aboriginal patients who have prematurely self-discharged against medical advice. Data and learnings are communicated to Leadership and across clinical units to effect reduction of these discharges; and to enhance clinical support to those who still chose this option.