The Rural Support Service (RSS) is a business unit in SA Health that is responsible for providing flexible, responsive and innovative services to support the six regional local health networks (LHNs) to grow and thrive by:
providing system-wide capacity and capability across a range of specialised clinical and corporate functions
enabling, where sustainable and appropriate, the LHNs to develop local capacity and capability to become self-sufficient in the delivery of these functions.
The RSS was established on 1 July 2019, when the regional LHNs and their governing boards became responsible and accountable for the delivery of publicly funded health services in regional South Australia, as part of the SA Health governance reforms. Country Health SA, which was previously responsible and accountable for the delivery of these services, ceased to exist as a legal entity on 30 June 2019.
The RSS is hosted within the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network and overseen by the Management Oversight Committee, comprising the regional LHN chief executive officers and an independent chair, and the Chairs Committee, comprising the regional LHN governing board chairs and an independent chair.
The RSS is jointly led by Debbie Martin, Executive Director, and Dr Hendrika Meyer, Chief Clinical Advisor, supported by senior managers responsible for clinical and corporate functional areas. With a diverse array of skills and functions, RSS staff work across four streams – business services, governance and risk assurance, workforce development, and clinical services development and support – to create and deliver innovative and adaptive solutions to challenges in rural health with regional LHNs, partner organisations and stakeholders.
Services and initiatives delivered by the RSS across the regional LHNs include:
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