Our strategic partnerships with organisations such as the University of Tasmania, Divisions of General Practice, and the Tasmanian Police Service offer a valuable mechanism for progressing the agenda for change and innovation in the planning and provision of health and human services.
Partners in Health 1999 and Beyond is a strategic partnership between DHHS and the University of Tasmania's Faculty of Health Science (FHS).
The FHS and DHHS have recognised the value and importance of developing a strong strategic partnership to improve health services provided to the community, and assist in addressing demands being placed on the health system in Tasmania.
A number of joint initiatives have commenced which have promoted this strategic alliance, including the development of a conjoint appointment process. These initiatives have resulted in significant gains.
The strategic partnership was formalised by the signing of a Statement of Mutual Intent in December 1998. This document envisages that our organisations will jointly develop a close working relationship, specifically to maintain and develop the FHS, maintain and develop education and research, and co-ordinate and integrate teaching, research and clinical service delivery. Sitting alongside the Statement of Mutual Intent is the Partners in Health Strategic Plan. Information relating to Partnership Initiatives is available on the Partners in Health web site.
In 2001 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Collaborating for Improved Health Outcomes, was signed by the Tasmanian General Practice Divisions Ltd, the three regional Divisions of General Practice and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The MoU underpins the partnership and aims to improve collaboration between general practitioners and the Department, and as a result provide an integrated response to the primary health care needs of Tasmanians and the health status of Tasmanians.
In accordance with the MoU, a 2-year Workplan has been developed together with a Protocol for the Involvement of General Practitioners in Statewide Initiatives and Specific Projects.
The Tasmania Police Service and the Department of Health and Human Services often provide services to the same clients. This requires co-operation and a clear understanding and agreement about the roles and responsibilities of each in providing these services.
Following extensive consultation, a Memorandum of Understanding has been developed, supported by a working protocol, for staff who are required to provide services to people with a disability, including those with mental illness and/or intellectual disability.
The document is a working agreement, implemented at all levels in both agencies.