Member Spotlight: SNAP Program at ISLHD

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District conducted a successful Short Notice Assessment Pathway Program recently and share their experience.

1.    Tell me a little bit about Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) provides health services for around 400,000 residents of the Illawarra Shoalhaven region.  We are situated on the south coast of NSW and the catchment covers the Wollongong, Kiama, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven Local Government Areas.  We operate eight (8) hospital sites and provide community health services from approximately 58 locations across the region.

2.    How many staff do you have working there, and how many clients?
ISLHD is one of the region’s largest employers with a workforce of more than 8,500 staff.

3.    What was the process like the Short Notice Assessment Pathway Program (SNAP) 1 & 2 assessments?
We found the process for Short Notice Assessment to be a very positive experience.  This partly due to the spending the time well in advance of the SNAP to establish robust governance processes and building a strong culture of business as usual.  To support this, a valuable exercise was to undertake a Mock SNAP assessment well in advance of any SNAP event.  This was received well by staff as well as giving them a real time test of what to expect during an assessment. In addition, we would also acknowledge and not underestimate the valuable support and guidance provided by our Customer Service Manager from the ACHS leading up to and during the event.  

4.    How was the experience? Was there anything in particular you learnt?
We had a very good experience with our SNAP 1 assessment.  Our assessment was a combined year 1 and year 2, which included 6 Standards.  The Assessment team were extremely helpful and adaptive to a SNAP assessment.  Some of the lessons learnt for us would be to ensure that all requests for evidence from the Assessment Team be sent to one central location and fed back through one source, rather than through multiple sources.  We have also reviewed the way our timetable template is set up so that it allows for more flexibility and freedom for the Assessment team to visit wards, departments and services.

5.    How did you regard what the Assessors brought to the assessment?
The Assessment Team were extremely supportive during the assessment and provided lots of ideas to the teams on how to further improve processes and systems.  We found the assessment team to be very engaged, flexible and considerate given this was our first SNAP event.

6.    Do you have any advice for other members going through these programs?
We would recommend that any members planning to participate in the SNAP pathway should:
Ensure staff are well prepared to undertake a SNAP event (at ISLHD we have bi-monthly checklists that are completed by all department managers across the district that ensures they are ready at any time for a SNAP event)

  • Establish robust governance systems 
  • Design a timetable that allows for flexibility 
  • Establish all pre-populated SNAP announcements well in advance to the event (with the need to only add the dates and standards covered)
  • Ensure ample planning and preparation is undertaken to ensure the SNAP event runs smoothly
  • Ensure that a sustainable program for collecting evidence routinely is maintained at all times.