The RANCH Charter
A network charter was proposed as part of the review of RANCH in 2011. As a result of this consultation, the establishment of a RANCH Charter has been identified as a strategic priority in both the RANCH Strategic and Operational Plans.
The process of developing the Charter will require consultation and consensus to ensure that it is relevant, meaningful and valued by the membership.
In early 2017 RANCH will commence a structured approach to developing and gaining support for the RANCH Charter.
To find out more about the proposed RANCH Charter Click here…
The Neighbourhood House Community Transport Project (NHCTP)
In early 2016, the RANCH worked with staff from the Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Services to develop a successful funding submission for a project focussed on the issue of NH involvement in providing community transport across the Loddon and Mallee regions.
This work undertaken by the NHCTP included:
- a gap analysis of community transport at Neighbourhood Houses in the Loddon Mallee Region.
- a review of five successful neighbourhood house transport programs to identify the factors that make them successful.
- the development of a toolkit to assist other NHs establish or enhance their transport programs
- funding ($5000) for three NHs in the region to either establish or enhance transport programs for cancer and other patients using the toolkit.
The NHCTP was completed in January 2018 and the project report and Community Transport Toolkit will be available through this website in the coming weeks.
What did we learn?
- A greater number of NHs in the Loddon Mallee Region provided community transport than was expected. This supports the suggestion that community transport provided by the community services sector tends to be “invisible” outside the communities and population groups that it services.
- Only 11 of the 41 NHs indicated that they provide no community transport and are not currently engaged in any work focussed on the development of community transport in their local communities
- NHs are active in providing community transport in all 10 LGAs within the Loddon Mallee Region
- Almost a third (32%) of all LMR NHs provide transport services that are directly concerned with assisting community members to access health services.
- (44%) of all NHs in the LMR are currently involved in advocacy and/or community development activities focused on community transport
- A total of 93% of NHs that provide community transport services reported that volunteers were involved in the provision of these services.
- The community transport models developed by NHs in the LMR are very diverse and it appears that each NH has developed a unique approach to meeting the community transport needs of their community
- These unique approaches have been supported by policies, procedures and resources that have developed over time to manage the particular issues inherent in the operational issues specific to the model and geographical location. The quality of these resources vary considerably and although some of the NHs have provided a substantial amount of transport over a long period of time, they have had only limited capacity to fully develop the resources required to support their services.
- While initially, it was anticipated that the project would identify clear commonalities that would inform an understanding of a best practice approach to community transport service delivery at the NH level, it has now become apparent that a number of discrete models are potentially useful across the NH sector.
How can we use what we have learned?
The process of building the NH Sector’s capacity to develop and sustain viable and responsive community transport services is challenging and ambitious. However, apart from providing the NH Sector with a deeper understanding of the level and type of NH community transport that currently exists in the LMR, the NHCTP will contribute to the NH Sector’s capacity and development in the following ways:
- Frameworks and tools that were developed to identify the levels and types of NH community transport in the LMR can be used by the NH Sector to undertake similar research in other regions of Victoria.
- The NH Community Transport Toolkit will provide NHs with access to resources that will assist them to develop community transport services using “good practice” approaches
- The NHCTP will be presented at the 2018 NHVic Annual Conference and other forums to generate broader engagement with the issue of NH community transport
What do we now need to learn?
Through work undertaken by the NHCTP, it appears that the NH Sector can play an important role in addressing transport barriers, particularly for vulnerable and isolated people living in rural and remote communities.
However, substantial work will be required to conceptualise, assess and document the diverse range of models identified by the NHCTP to provide the NH sector with options that could be replicated depending on the particular needs, location and capacity of specific communities. This work was not able to be completed within the constraints of the initial project
What will we do next?
The NHCTP Stage 2 (Sustainable Models)
Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Services has provided additional funding to RANCH to build on the research and outcomes of the NHCTP. Commencing in November 2017, over a 14 month period, LMICS will work with the RANCH Network and Neighbourhood Houses Victoria (NHVic) and other members of the NHCTP Reference Group to:
- Identify and engage with a broad range of stakeholders to conceptualise and document at least 4 community transport models that could be adopted by Neighbourhood Houses to increase accessibility to cancer services for people living in rural and remote communities
- Develop a financial framework for each model to assist the NH Sector to advocate for sustainable funding to deliver particular types of community transport services in rural and remote locations
- Develop resources, policies and procedures to support each community transport model.
To find out more about the NH Transport project contact Sue Birch, RANCH Project Officer.