Evaluation of the GP Super Clinics Program 2007-2008

6.3 Responsiveness to Local Community

Page last updated: 2012

Most GP Super Clinics reported using processes, usually including consultation, to determine community needs. This occurred most commonly in the phase leading up to the construction of the GP Super Clinics. Examples were provided of engagement with community members, Divisions of General Practice, aged care facilities and Aboriginal Medical Services.

One GP Super Clinic reported specific engagement approaches with members of the Aboriginal community in the local area. This was not a formal consultation strategy. Rather, it was an attempt to meet and get to know members of the Aboriginal community and build relationships that would support Aboriginal engagement. This has been ongoing, and there was evidence of significant impact, with 600 patients identifying as Aboriginal at this one GP Super Clinic. This approach has been further supported by participation in the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap Collaborative.

[Director] came and met me a few years ago to talk about what he wanted to do and asked what we needed. We still talk regularly. Everything he committed to he has done..... We meet regularly and the word has got around about this clinic. Indigenous people here get great service.

Indigenous Elder - interview

Another GP Super Clinic provided examples of engagement with the local Aboriginal community through Elders and the Aboriginal Medical Service. As a result, programs targeting local Aboriginal young people have been developed.

Many of the community stakeholders reported positive experiences in relation to the engagement processes with the GP Super Clinic Directors in the early phase of development. Some had developed clinical relationships with the GP Super Clinic since their inception.

The extent of ongoing involvement in part depended on the organisational structure of the GP Super Clinics. Where Boards existed, members had often been involved in engagement in the early phases of the GP Super Clinics. While Board membership was mostly skills-based this was viewed as important in the GP Super Clinics’ infancy. As a consequence, the members did not necessarily reflect community views. Rather, they brought specific and needed skills to the Boards for the stage of development of the GP Super Clinics.