"I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fabulous staff who continue to exceed my expectations - and this year in very challenging circumstances"

Deb Lee

Adelaide PHN CEO

It has certainly been an eventful and somewhat different experience throughout our fifth year as Adelaide PHN. Whilst the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic has most definitely been a major focus for us, our work in supporting primary health care providers and improving the health outcomes of our community has continued on, and is demonstrated by significant impacts across our region.


Sharing our impact has been a key thematic goal for us this year and the result is a growing collection of 'report cards' that, upon release, will clearly demonstrate the impact that we have had in relation to our national priority areas: mental health and alcohol and other drugs, general practice and digital health, Aboriginal health, aged care, population health, and workforce. Each of these report cards line up with the National PHN Program Performance and Quality Framework - which contains specific KPIs that PHNs are required to report against. Adelaide PHN continues to achieve against each of these indicators, proving that we are indeed a robust and capable organisation! 

We have worked alongside our colleagues in SA Health, emergency services, local government and defence in the SA Health Control Centre - set up in March this year to 'flatten the curve' and flatten it we did! It has and continues to be a great experience, and yet another example of collaborative and integrated partnership providing effective, efficient and rapid solutions to the pandemic.

Our focus on integration, co-design, innovation and collaboration continues and has seen us lead and develop the Towards Wellness: Adelaide Metropolitan Integrated Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. 

This plan is a collaboration of our four metropolitan Local Health Networks (LHNs), Wellbeing SA and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (SA). This plan clearly outlines the work that we already do and provides for new joint activity that will see us make solid gains in integrating care for our communities, strengthening our ability to support those most in need.

This year has seen strong consultation with our membership groups, partners and stakeholders, and as a result of their feedback, we have undertaken a redesign of our membership structure. Our inaugural membership design of three Clinical Councils (CC), three Community Advisory Councils (CAC), a Health Priority Network (HPN), a Network Leadership Group (NLG) and a Membership Advisory Council (MAC) has been streamlined into: one metropolitan CC, one metropolitan CAC, one Aboriginal CAC and an NLG (all with equal representation across professions and regions: centre, south and north).  

Our intention to introduce other meeting modalities and platforms was given a kick start with the pandemic restrictions, and it’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of us are now quite familiar and comfortable with our virtual meetings platforms (Zoom and Teams). Once restrictions are lifted, we will re-introduce some face to face meetings and roll out our popular roadshows to hear from broader sections of our community.

Our GP Liaison/Integration Units are now well established in each of our LHNs - ensuring that vital linkage between GPs and their relevant major hospital. We have data and evidence that they are most definitely reducing potentially preventable hospital presentations and admissions. Very exciting as this has historically been very difficult to capture and shows the absolute key benefits of GPs and our hospitals working closely together: improving the person's experience of health and their health outcomes!  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our fabulous staff who continue to exceed my expectations - and this year in very challenging circumstances! Of course, without you, our members, partners and stakeholders - none of this would be possible. We sincerely thank you for all your input, support, dedication and commitment over this last year.