Key messages

  • By working together, primary health services can coordinate services better, plan better and improve health promotion.
  • Building partnerships takes time and commitment.
  • There are tools and resources to help primary health services build effective partnerships.

Building partnerships takes time and commitment. Partner organisations must recognise each other’s roles and expertise, and develop common goals and actions. The following tools and resources can help primary health services build effective partnerships.

  • VicHealth Partnerships analysis tool helps organisations to better understand the reasons for partnering, reflect on the partnership, and identify ways to strengthen partnerships. Wherever possible, member organisations should complete activities as a group.
  • Victorian Council of Social Service Partnership in practice guides provide information, tools and resources that examine the three stages of partnering: preparing to partner, commencing the partnership and sustaining the partnership.
  • National Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health (Canada) Partnership self-assessment tool measures the key indicators for successful collaboration and level of synergy.

Other useful resources

PCPs can also look at:

  • past evaluation reports, especially the Strengthening Partnerships Evaluation Report – Appendix 1, which identifies strategies, skills and resources that can improve relationships between partnership members
  • Partnerships and collaborative advantage in primary care reform, which describes the characteristics of effective partnerships, including collaborative planning, an agreed common agenda and pursuit of common goals, organisational capacity, partnership competencies, leadership commitment and sound communication practices to keep people engaged.