Wentworth Healthcare and its predecessor organisations have been providing the Aboriginal Health Closing the Gap program across the region for the past 7 years.
As part of our move to commission services rather than providing them directly, we undertook an expression of interest and request for proposal process whereby interested organisations submitted an application to take on the delivery of the Closing the Gap program.
Nepean Community & Neighbourhood Services (NCNS) was the successful applicant and this month we are transitioning the Closing the Gap program to NCNS to manage.
Closing the Gap is a program that supports Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people to access mainstream primary health care services. The program employs project officers, outreach workers and care coordinators to link Aboriginal people to the care they need as agreed between the person and their GP.
The program assists people to seek healthcare early, to have regular health checks and navigate the healthcare system. It also works with local healthcare providers to support them to provide culturally safe services.
In 2016 alone, our region's Closing the Gap team provide nearly 17,000 occasions of service.
We are therefore thrilled that as part of the change of management of this program to NCNS, the current Closing the Gap team will also transition to work under the NCNS umbrella. This will ensure continuity of services to all current clients, who will continue to receive the high quality care coordination and outreach services that have been provided by the dedicated Closing the Gap staff to date. Naturally, client's care from their regular GP will continue as usual.
We look forward to working collaboratively with NCNS to continue to support the provision of this important local health service.