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    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    This comment is being posted on behalf of Patient and Care Opinion Australia:

    Patient and Care Opinion Australia is a not for profit web based platform that exists to enable dialogue between healthcare recipients and their providers. It does this by collecting stories anonymously from patients, care recipients or carers and then, when able, alerting service providers to the stories. Partner organisations receive alerts and have the ability to respond directly and in a timely manner to the storyteller (see Patient Opinion Australia , Care Opinion Australia )

    We read with interest your article “The Rural Health Risks of Transition to Primary Health Networks” and thought you’d be interested in some of the stories on our site. They provide a “lived experience” view of local effectiveness and of progress and sustainable efforts at local levels.

    Of particular interest to us at Patient Opinion, have been the stories of support for Mental Health, some via the ATAPS (Access to Allied Psychological Service) mentioned in your article. Here are some links that may be of interest:

    1. Mighty Minds (Murrumbidgee ML) 19 stories. This one is particularly interesting as an early childhood mental health intervention; the nation is looking for successful examples of these….who would have thought to look to Murrumbidgee? And yet, there seems to be real changes happening there, with an impact on whole families, not just the children involved.

    2. Wagga Applied Psychology Service (Murrumbidgee ML) 45 stories

    We also currently have several Indigenous Health stories. Although these apply to regional centres on the whole, the site seems to be a comfortable one for these client communities to use.

    As you say, it would be a shame to lose these hard won gains and the professionals who have worked hard to provide them so, if spreading the stories of real people helps, then please feel free to spread these far and wide.
    Of course, another use for the platform is to enable “local communities and clinicians to have a genuine say in the management of their healthcare so that the health services are responsive to local needs”.

    Given that Patient and Care Opinion is online (telephone and written input also available), it is a financially viable way to connect people in remote areas to the PHNs and to allow the PHNs to understand which services are working well, which must be retained and which could be improved.



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