A NSW Government website


Hunter New England Local Health District

Safety and Quality Account

2022-23 Report
2023-24 Future Priorities

We remain committed to delivering exceptional healthcare to the almost one million people living and working in Hunter New England Local Health District.

Our dedicated staff are at the centre of these efforts and continue to shape the future of health through their innovative thinking, commitment to integrated care, and focus on achieving excellent patient outcomes.

In the past year, our district made significant progress toward codesigning a model of care for paediatric patients with complex medical needs, provided treatment to more children at home through our virtual kids’ service, and crossed borders to collaborate with other health networks to help close the gap in our rural communities.

We remained focused on enhancing community support. Through our mental health first responders’ program, delivered in partnership with NSW Police and NSW Ambulance, emergency patients now have access to specialised mental health triage services, with 85 per cent of people remaining in the community and not requiring hospital admission.

This year’s account focuses on programs that support our workforce to continue driving safe and high-quality care, achieved through several initiatives, including Hospital HealthPathways that gives our clinicians management and referral advice, and enhancing the number of nurse practitioner positions in our rural areas.

We’re pleased to endorse this year’s (2022-23) Safety and Quality Account, including the key achievements, strategies to create a safe and healthy environment for staff and plans to further improve the support we provide to patients in the Hunter and New England regions.

Thank you again to our incredible staff across the district. We look forward to further improving patient care in the year ahead.


Tracey McCosker | Chief Executive
Martin Cohen | Board Chair

Snapshot of achievements over the previous 12 months

The initiatives below are a few of the improvements undertaken as part of key focus areas and are aligned to the District’s Strategic and Operational Plans. These and other initiatives are described in more detail throughout this year's Safety and Quality Account.

Processes and Structures that Support Safety and Quality

Hunter New England Local Health District includes 27 hospitals, 12 multipurpose services, and more that 60 community health services. Ensuring that care is safe and high-quality across such a large service requires planning, coordination, and governance. Planning includes the District's Strategic and Operational Plans. These documents set out the District's goals and expectations, as well as the priority actions and initiatives that help us achieve the goals. Governance includes the systems that monitor the safety and quality of the many clinical services across the District.

In the tabs below are examples of structures and processes that support the provision of safe, high-quality care across the District.

Hunter New England Local Health District’s actions and initiatives are aligned with the strategic priorities of the NSW government and the Ministry of Health. The Planning and Accountability Framework (below) shows how various plans relate to each other from State level to the individual level.

Operational planning at the District level is led by the Chief Executive in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). Priority areas are identified by the various networks and facilities in alignment with priorities set by the Ministry and District. Progress towards targets on operational plans at each level is monitored through Monthly Accountability Meetings, 90 Day Action Plans, and reports to the ELT.

Flowchart illustrating HNELHD Planning and Accountability Framework

The strategy map is our strategic plan on a single page. It outlines our vision, purpose, goals, core values and enablers. Enablers are key systems, tools, and ways of working which support us to reach our goals. Our strategic actions are arranged into six domains in the lower half of the map.

The strategic plan provides the framework for working together to achieve our goals, and is a key component of our Accountability Framework.

Flowchart illustrating HNELHD Strategy Map

The Clinical Quality and Patient Care Framework has been developed to ensure that the systems necessary to support the delivery of safe and high quality care for patients and consumers are in place across the Local Health District (LHD). The framework supports and promotes good clinical governance.

The Framework is supported by the following Committee structure that shows the relationships and reporting lines of the many committees and groups that have responsibilities for ensuring safe and high quality care across the District. It allows communication and escalation from the ward to the Board.

Flowchart depicting HNELHD Clinical Quality and Patient Care Framework and the Quality Committee Structure