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New service helping people with long-term health conditions

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The Wanneroo community will benefit from a new service designed to provide effective treatment support for people with long-term health conditions, who also live with mental health conditions, or alcohol and other substance use dependencies.

The service, funded by WA Primary Health Alliance and provided by Silverchain, began on 1 January 2023 and is available through participating general practices in Wanneroo. It aims to improve planned, culturally safe care and support by connecting individuals to appropriate community mental health and alcohol and other substance use services.

Federal Member for Pearce Tracey Roberts MP said, “This important investment aims to improve the health of those who need it when they need it most and will be welcomed by the people in my electorate of Pearce, who will benefit from the provision of timely and culturally appropriate health services within their neighbourhoods.

“Ensuring that we care for every member of our community, so that no one is left behind, is a core value of the Australian Government and I am very pleased that we have made this investment as part of our efforts to strengthen Medicare,” she said.

This targeted care plan support and coordination service will integrate with local community healthcare services and is informed by primary health data and consultation with local general practices and other health services, community members and interested organisations.

The service will address the barriers for those individuals who find it difficult to get access to care and keep their health on track, while empowering them to self-manage their health and quality of life, reaching goals set out in their GP developed self-management plans.

WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Commissioned Services, Mark Cockayne also said, “Using population health data has allowed us to target this new service to where it will have the most impact and we are delighted that so many local general practices have come on board.

“It will help people with long-term health conditions and complex care needs to remain independent in the community and stay out of the hospital system.

“This is especially important for people living with mental health, alcohol, or other substance use challenges, who often require additional supports within the community,” he added.

Silverchain’s Executive Director, Western Australia Renae Lavell also said, “Silverchain has a strong track record of providing complex chronic disease management and support services to Western Australians who live with chronic health conditions.”

“This service will work closely with individuals in the community to get to know them, their concerns and help remove the barriers that prevent them from accessing help and care,” Lavell said.

This free service will support eligible people to:
• help make and keep appointments (including arranging transport)
• understand any health advice that they have received
• access mental health and/or alcohol and other substance use support services
• find other healthcare options if they are getting stuck or are waiting too long for services
• access community-based social supports like financial, relationship and grief counselling
services.

To access this service for yourself or a loved one, speak to your GP in the Wanneroo region to see if they are participating in the service and can provide a referral.

If you have questions, call Silverchain on 1300 300 122 and ask to speak to the Case Coordinator for care planning and coordination services.

This activity has been made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the Primary Health Network Program.

Media release from WA Primary Health Alliance. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.