Western NSW PHN (WNSW PHN) has completed a systematic needs assessment to identify unmet health and healthcare needs of communities within the WNSW PHN area. The purpose of the needs assessment is to identify key issues and priorities to inform the strategic direction of the organisation. The PHN has been working closely with regional partners to ensure a coordinated approach and has drawn on a mix of statistical data and qualitative information to inform our assessment.

Central to this process was a series of community forums held in early 2016 in key population hubs including Bathurst, Broken Hill, Bourke, Dubbo and Orange.  WNSW PHN would like to thank all who participated in these forums.

The final needs assessment document is available to download below:

For further background on the 2016 needs assessment and a snapshot of some of the data about our region, please refer to the presentation by the Health Intelligence Unit.

Previous needs assessments for our region:


Health Planning Framework

The WNSW PHN’s Health Planning Framework - a tool to support the needs analysis, commissioning and joint service planning – highlights the principles used to improve planning and commissioning in primary health in our region.

Reflecting the diversity of our western NSW region, the Framework outlines a sub-regional zonal structure to align the needs analysis and service plans more closely with the different local communities in the large rural and remote western NSW region.

These nine planning sub regions are: Far West South, Broken Hill, Far West North, Remote WNSW, North West, Dubbo, Cowra/Parkes/Forbes, Orange and Bathurst.

Health Planning Framework


Service Mapping for Chronic Care Survey

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia and is often more prevalent in rural and remote geographies compared to metropolitan cities [1, 2].

WNSW PHN together with ConNetica Consulting have recently conducted a pilot study that applies an internationally standardised and validated classification tool to map chronic care provision in Dubbo and Coonamble. Support for the project has also been provided by the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre.

The Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories - Long Term Care (DESDE-LTC) has been used in several national and international locations to map mental health, alcohol and other drug, and homelessness. This is the first time such detailed mapping of Chronic Care, using an international coding methodology, has been undertaken in Australia.

The project aims to significantly increase understanding of the current state of population health needs compared with the service response for people with chronic care needs in the City of Dubbo and the town of Coonamble.

Services that provide care for people with chronic diseases have been considered for inclusion in this Atlas by the completion of an online survey and/or phone interview with ConNetica. A better understanding of what is being delivered on the ground will allow for robust service planning and for service comparisons to made with other areas around Australia and overseas.

If you have any questions about the Integrated Atlas of Chronic Care for Dubbo and Coonamble, or would like to request an interview about your Chronic Care Services, please contact Janet Hopkins at jhopkins@connetica.com.au or by phone on 0410 536 990.


1. AIHW 2014. Australia's health 2014. Cat. no. AUS 178. Canberra: AIHW.

2. Kinsman, L., Tham, R., Symons, J., Jones, M., Campbell, S., & Allenby, A. (2017). Prevention of cardiovascular disease in rural Australian primary care: an exploratory study of the perspectives of clinicians and high-risk men. Australian journal of primary health, 22(6), 510-516.