Key messages

  • To ensure Victoria's health system is best placed to meet current and future community needs, the Department of Health commissioned a review of the Primary Care Partnerships (PCP) Program.
  • After careful consideration of the review recommendations in the context of health reform opportunities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, the department has decided to transition PCP functions into the Local Public Health Units (LPHU). This is consistent with option four of the review's recommendations.
  • The transition offers a unique opportunity to improve population health outcomes for local communities by consolidating skills, knowledge and governance across a catchment area, and for a renewed focus on place-based health promotion and prevention.
  • The department is engaging VicPCP in co-designing the transition of PCP functions to LPHUs, which is planned to be completed by 1 April 2022.

Purpose of the review

  • Establish a detailed and evidence-based understanding of the current and historical implementation and impact of the PCP Program.
  • Explore how the PCP Program operates within the current Victorian primary care landscape.
  • Understand the extent to which the PCP Program is designed and equipped to address contemporary trends and challenges in the Victorian primary care landscape.
  • Identify opportunities for DH to maximise the impact of the PCP Program investment, in order to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Victorians.

Program update – October 2021

  • PCP functions will transition into LPHUs. This is consistent with option four of the review's recommendations.
  • The transition of PCP functions to LPHUs is planned to be completed by 1 April 2022.
  • The transition offers a unique opportunity to improve population health outcomes for local communities by consolidating skills, knowledge and governance across a catchment area. It offers a consistent authorising environment to influence system level change and a renewed focus on place-based health promotion and prevention.
  • The department will engage VicPCP in the co-design process, which will include the development of transition plans that ensure no involuntary job losses (PCP Program-funded positions), management of projects that are currently in progress, and full reinvestment of program funding.
  • The co-design process will also identify high-value functions to be retained and strengthened, and processes to retain and refresh local partnerships, including alliances with Aboriginal organisations and communities.
  • VicPCP has been funded by the department to provide change management and support services to PCPs and their staff.
  • The state's 28 PCPs have made valuable contributions to Victorian healthcare since their establishment in 2000, and the transition of their functions to LPHUs will continue the Victorian Government's strong focus on health promotion and prevention.