Codesigning community-led multidisciplinary models of care

Back to Case studies

Larter supported Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN) to develop a new commissioning strategy called Community-led Multidisciplinary Models of Care through consultation and co-design with community members, service providers and other stakeholders.

Gippsland PHN is part of a national network of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia established by the Australian Government to tackle identified national health objectives and priority areas.

Gippsland PHN’s key objectives are to:

  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes
  • Improve coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time
  • Lower prevalence of locally prioritised conditions
  • Improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease and those at risk of poor health outcomes.

The challenge

As part of Gippsland PHN’s transition to outcomes-focussed commissioning, the PHN sought to develop a new commissioning strategy to better align investment with identified need, current evidence, and outcomes-focused approaches. In particular, key feedback during the Gippsland PHN Health Needs Assessment 2021 suggested that consumers would like improved access to more co-ordinated approaches to health care, which includes “health professionals working together around them as team” to better address their multiple needs.

Larter was engaged to assist Gippsland PHN in defining the structure and deliverables of the new program, utilising feedback garnered through meaningful, targeted consultation and co-design with communities and stakeholders and in the Gippsland region. The process was also informed by emerging best practice models for rural primary health care and the pending primary health care reform context.

For this commissioning strategy, the definition of Community-Led Multidisciplinary Models of Care used was:

  • An integrated and collaborative approach to multi-disciplinary models of health care whereby the identification of needs, priorities and agenda for change is led by the community experiencing a health need. The health care model is patient-centred and includes professionals from a range of health disciplines working together to deliver comprehensive care that addresses as many of the patient’s needs as possible.

Larter used this definition to embed and enable opportunities for community leadership throughout the codesign and project approach.



Our response

Larter’s design approach for codesigning this commissioning strategy comprised:

  1. Analysis – document and data review
  2. Discovery – consultation with community and professional stakeholders on priorities for multidisciplinary models of care
  3. Options paper – summarising four model options based on the data and the insights and priorities identified
  4. Design – codesign workshops with community members and healthcare professionals to develop the tender specifications for the commissioning strategy
  5. Commissioning – competitive procurement to secure service providers.

The Discovery phase included undertaking community and professional consultations across the six local government areas in Gippsland, including:

  • Consultation with currently commissioned providers to understand what was working well, what could work better, and to identify good practice examples and service gaps for multidisciplinary care for different health conditions and different population groups
  • Consultation with communities in the Gippsland region (including people with lived experience, families, and carers) to understand community needs, and aspirations for more integrated and coordinated models of care, including key barriers and enablers to current health care services
  • Consultation with professional stakeholders for understanding needs, gaps, relevant to Gippsland PHN’s health priorities and to establish best practice parameters
  • Involving professional stakeholders and community members in a co-design approach to inform the specifications for the Program.

The engagement explored priorities and ideas for:

  • improving access to multidisciplinary and team-based care
  • collaborative care models with allied health, to support multidisciplinary care for patients with chronic and / or complex health needs.

Community consultations

In order to ensure participation from under-served communities and individuals at risk of poorer outcomes, Larter used focused engagement strategies to optimise participation from the following groups:

  • Rural populations
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Carers of children (up to 18 years of age), and young people (18-25 years)
  • People with disability
  • People with lived experience of alcohol and other drugs and/or mental health challenges
  • Farmers and men (in general).

The outcome

Larter delivered an Options Paper summarising the key features of community-led models to emerge from the Discovery phase. The model selected for the commissioning strategy was the most comprehensive representation of all the key needs and non-negotiables identified by community: integrated health care hubs.

The tender specifications for the new Community-led Integrated Health Care hubs were codesigned by participating stakeholders to ensure non-negotiable components and tender assessment criteria were reflective of local priorities.

Gippsland PHN successfully went to market with the new commissioning strategy at the end of 2022.

Larter has extensive experience working with PHNs, navigating change, and using collaborative approaches to developing new models of care, in order to generate better health outcomes for local communities.

Contact us today to discuss your co-design or commissioning strategy needs.