IN our special four-part series, Local Ipswich News investigates a never before produced report that shines a light on the state of the region’s healthcare.
The inaugural ‘Local Area Needs Analysis 2022-2025’ (LANA) has been years in the making and has just been released by West Moreton Health (WMH).
LANA was developed following key recommendations in the state government’s Unleashing the Potential report and its findings will now be embedded into WMH’s planning structure.
For communities across Ipswich, Springfield, Lockyer Valley, Gatton, Esk and surrounding regions, the LANA report, alongside our investigation, will provide readers with previously unknown insights into the health of our local communities.
It also gives a critical glimpse into what the future health needs of our local communities will be and provides a clear yardstick on the current state of our health and healthcare systems.
Chair of the West Moreton Health board, Michael Willis said the LANA report gives WMH a clear focus ‘on the work we have in front of us over coming years.’
“It has also been built on the great contributions of our community, our health consumers, our clinicians and non-clinical staff,” Mr Willis said.
“The West Moreton region faces a number of significant challenges that we have to work on.
“As we emerge from a time of intense focus on dealing with the immediate challenge of this pandemic, it is important that we lift our sights and focus on the future health needs of our community, and how we best respond to them.”
Mr Willis said the LANA Report alongside WMH’s Strategic Plan are ‘the fruits of that work’.
LANA will undergo an annual update and a full refresh every three years, and it’s hoped the report will help to streamline services and improve care pathways and outcomes, including in home care as well as early intervention and prevention services.
West Moreton Health’s Interim CEO Hannah Bloch said the LANA Report is ‘one of the most detailed snapshots of the health needs of this region that we’ve ever undertaken’.
“Our first ever Local Area Needs Analysis has identified the health inequities and the gaps in health care delivery that exist now and into the future in our region,” Ms Bloch said.
“In developing the analysis, we consulted with over 600 consumer and community members through surveys, focus groups and forums.
“We identified which Ipswich suburbs have a greater experience of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma and we looked at areas where the average rates of chronic disease are higher.
“This work will help us determine the services, the equipment, the buildings, the technology, and the staff that we will need available to achieve our vision of a thriving community.”
The report also used over 200 data indicators that engaged a wide array of key stakeholders including members of the community, patients, clinicians, carers, and healthcare staff.
The needs and challenges identified within the LANA report involved a priority ranking system used by the LANA Steering Committee, which was comprised of healthcare directors, planning and operations managers, the WMH Executive Leadership Committee and others.
It resulted in 56 critical needs across nine priority areas being identified, with an endorsed shortlist of 24 critical needs across our region.
These ranged from the state of rural communities’ health and healthcare services, health equity across regions, ensuring a skilled workforce with easily accessible services, to dealing with a growing elderly population and an increasingly concerning mental health crisis.
As part of our special four-part series, next week we will look closely at the region’s growing population, including a disproportionate growth in our elderly population and what the ramifications of this rapidly changing demographic means for local communities.
In later editions of the series, we will also dissect the regions mental health crisis and the social barriers that are hindering the local community’s access to better healthcare outcomes.