Victoria’s 28 Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) were introduced by the Victorian Government in 2000 and were funded by the Victorian Department of Health.
Primary Care Partnerships were catchment-based voluntary alliances of health and social service providers and community groups, who worked together to improve access to services and provide continuity of care for people in their community. For 21 years Primary Care Partnerships worked to maximise health and wellbeing outcomes, promote health equity and avoid unnecessary hospital presentations and admissions.
Victoria’s 28 PCPs involved more than 850 organisations, including hospitals, community health services, Primary Health Networks, local councils (or local government organisations), mental health services, drug treatment services, disability services and more.
Due to a changing health landscape, and to ensure Victoria’s health system is best placed to meet current and future community needs, the Department of Health commissioned a review of the PCP Program which was completed in February 2020.
After careful consideration of the review recommendations in the context of health reform opportunities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department decided to transition PCP health promotion functions to the health services operating Local Public Health Units (LPHU). The transition of PCP staff, funding and functions to the health services was completed on 30 June 2022.
The transition of PCP health promotion functions to LPHUs in a renewed and contemporary public health system offered a unique opportunity to improve population health outcomes for local communities.