Workforce planning accountability: How to transform the plan from words on paper to reality

Mrs Louise Maye1, Ms Clare Daley1

1Hunter New England Local Health District, Newcastle, Australia

The Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) Allied Health workforce plan identifies workforce issues and considers the strategies requirements of our Allied Health workforce for the next 4 years.

We have a growing and ageing population, increasing incidence of complex and chronic diseases, geographical distribution of our population, and changes resulting from major reforms such as National Disability Insurance Scheme and Aged Care.  The aim of the plan is to be prepared so we are well positioned to meet the challenges of the future and ensure our health workface is delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

To develop the plan, available workforce data was collated to develop a technical paper and highlight current workforce drivers and concerns, and guide the subsequent strategic initiatives that underpin the plan. Further themes and areas of concern were included from the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Allied Health Workforce Horizon Scanning Reports.

The plan is aligned to the NSW Health Professionals Workforce plan, which rests on a three part strategic framework. Nine key tenets, group into three interconnected parts of a strategic framework underpin the plan.

Existing workforce plans within HNELHD and MoH were reviewed to ensure consistency and alignment of strategies. The key strategies were reviewed and agreed upon by the District Allied Health Leadership Advisory group and endorsed by the Executive Director for Allied Health and Workforce.

To ensure each action/strategy in the plan is successful, every action has an allotted performance indicator and an allocated party who is responsible for implementation and monitoring. Relevant teams are required to report against meeting the related performance indicators through the Executive Director. The plan is reviewed monthly, and a quarterly report is reviewed by the District Allied Health Leadership Advisory Group.

By ensuring regular monitoring and strict governance, we aim to ensure the plan is fully implemented.


Louise Maye is an Allied Health Project Officer for Hunter New England Local Health District. Over the past 10 years, Louise has coordinated many projects such as telehealth, clinical supervision, clinical redesign and data reporting systems for the district, all with a key focus on providing workforce solutions to enable clinicians to streamline their practice and provide better patient care and outcomes.

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