Working with the Tasman community

People living in rural and remote areas often face additional barriers to effective health care.

Some factors that contribute to poor health outcomes include limited access to health services; a higher prevalence of health risks associated with socioeconomic status; and environmental conditions.

The Tasman local government area is in Tasmania’s south east. Its administrative centre, Nubeena, is around 100km from Hobart. Information about the health, social, environmental and economic state of the Tasman local government area is available in our Tasman Community Health Check.

Primary Health Tasmania has been working with the Tasman community and other partners to look at what we can all do to improve the health of the local community in a sustainable way.

Project partners

This project is a collaboration between Primary Health Tasmania, the Tasmanian Health Service (Tasmanian Government), Health Consumers Tasmania, and the Tasman community – including service providers, service users, the Tasman Council, and other community members.

What have we learnt together?

The project partners worked together to conduct thorough community and workforce consultation on the healthcare needs of the community, to inform future planning for health services in the region. This included 13 ‘kitchen tables’ conducted by Health Consumers Tasmania – involving more than 80 community members – about local health needs, and a consultation session with 19 local primary healthcare providers which was facilitated by Primary Health Tasmania.

Primary Health Tasmania also conducted an environmental scan that provided insight into population health data, the different services visiting or operating in the region, and any environmental factors that influence the health and wellbeing of resident.

Some of the key themes that emerged related to accessing services both within and outside of regular business hours; training gaps and opportunities for both the health workforce and community members; and access to information.

More information about this consultation process – and its outcomes – is available here.

What are we doing together?

From the collaborative consultation process, the project partners identified ways to address some of the immediate, medium and long-term needs and challenges identified.

Developing these solutions with the local community and tailoring them to the local area gives them the best chance of success in the long term.

The Tasman Clinical Services Action Group (led by the Tasmanian Health Service and Primary Health Tasmania) and the Tasman Voice for Health (led by Health Consumers Tasmania) are working to support the implementation of initiatives and activities to address the community needs identified. The two groups work on separate priorities, using their expertise and knowledge – either as residents or health professionals – to address difficulties accessing health services. Read more about the groups here.

Activities undertaken or underway through these working groups include:

  • the Tasman Youth Health Expo, aimed at providing young people and families in the region with information about health and wellbeing services available nearby and further afield, and fostering help-seeking behaviour. The Tasman District School, Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House, Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania, The Link Youth Health Service and Health Consumers Tasmania took the lead on this event. Read more here
  • development of a local services directory
  • training to upskill local health professionals in areas including wound care, dementia and palliative care. Read more here
  • provision of a podiatry chair at Huon Regional Care, allowing increased foot care within the community. Read more here
  • the introduction of point-of-care testing with an iSTAT machine, avoiding unnecessary travel to Hobart. Read more here
  • further work with service providers, consumers and other stakeholders to better understand local after-hours health services, referral processes and opportunities for innovation.

More information

To learn more about this project, please contact our Partnerships and Integration team by sending us a message.