A framework for strengthening the integration of primary and community health services for small rural/remote communities in Hunter New England Area Health Service

Project Status

Chief Investigators
Julie McDonald

Other Investigators
Gawaine Powell Davies


The complex range of primary and community health services even in small rural/remote areas highlights the importance of having strong linkages at the local level to strengthen coordination and delivery of these services to small rural/remote communities and the associated supports at cluster and area level to support these local linkages and services. The project was therefore designed to develop a framework that could then inform future planning of more integrated services.


To develop a framework which would enable HNEAHS to:

a) consider and strengthen the relationship between the Regional Health Services Program and other primary and community health services (including community health services, general practice and Aboriginal health services); and

b) learn from the achievements of the Regional Health Services Program and how these might be sustained inform future primary and community health service developments.

Design and Method

Cross sectional qualitative methods involving:

a)      semi structured interviews  with a selection of Regional Health Services Program workers, their line managers and cluster managers;

b)      meetings with program management staff and senior primary /community health managers; and

c)      examinations of documents and reports relating to the Regional Health Services Program, primary and community health policy and rural primary health care services.