Following the recommissioning of the Housing and Support Initiative (HASI), we faced a big change. In the re-tendering, we were successful in some regions; however, several of our longest-running services were unsuccessful. We said goodbye to a large number of staff and consumers, many who had been with us for a long time. While it was difficult to say farewell, we welcomed new consumers and colleagues in the west, and the central and mid-north coast.
Our regional footprint will continue to grow as we invest in country services and community capacity building. Partnering with terrific organisations such as Roses in the Ocean, we are working to improve suicide prevention in Orange, Dubbo and Broken Hill. With the help of local expertise, and a continued commitment to providing senior leadership across Western and Far Western NSW, we will increase our regional services to reflect a pivot to the west.
Closer to Sydney, we have seen the development of collaborative partnerships with St Vincent’s Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital. The SPconnect service supports people following a suicide attempt or a suicidal crisis. With staff working from within the hospitals, we can provide continuity of care for people to connect with local support. While still early in its development, the partnership has seen us challenge established perceptions, and demonstrate that clinical and community services can work together towards the same positive outcomes.
Instrumental in our renewed optimism is our relationship with the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). We celebrate having a state government that invests in long-term approaches to societal change. While we actively engage with new and innovative approaches, in partnership with several PHNs in NSW, we understand that our challenge is to shift from innovation to long-term service sustainability. The Supported Transition and Engagement Program (STEP) that began running in mid-2018 demonstrates such a commitment. The program provides funding to ensure people supported into housing receive post crisis support over the long-term, which increases the sustainability and efficacy of support.
Diversifying who we work with has been a key aim since the launch of our Strategic Directions last year. We are confident that our prioritisation of the consumer experience and our pursuit of purposeful partnerships is key to our more diverse and secure revenue in NSW. The increased security sees us supporting more people and employing more staff than ever before.