After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants

Up to $500,000 is available for innovative after hours primary health care.

After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants



The After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants was launched by Melbourne Primary Care Network (MPCN) to ensure efficient and sustainable delivery of high quality accessible after hours primary health care services across the region, particularly for those with limited access to services.

The Melbourne Primary Care Network (MPCN) operating the North Western Melbourne PHN (NWMPHN) invites eligible organisations to apply for funding to improve access to high quality effective and efficient after hours primary health care services in the north western Melbourne region. The NWMPHN is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.


Definition of After Hours Primary Health Care

After Hours Primary Health Care (AHPHC) is defined as accessible and effective care for people whose health condition is urgent and cannot wait for treatment until regular services are next available. There are a clear set of principles on which after hours services should be based:

Accessible care – appropriate, timely, available, affordable and equitable.
Effective care – coordinated, high quality, safe, efficient, sustainable and supports continuity of care.

The after hours period is defined as:

  • before 8:00am and after 6:00pm weekdays;
  • before 8:00am and after 12:00pm Saturdays; and,
  • all day Sundays and public holidays.

The after hours period can be further categorised into the following periods:

  • sociable after hours period – 6 pm to 11 pm weeknights; and,
  • unsociable after hours period – 11 pm to 8 am weekdays, hours outside of 8 am and 12 noon Saturdays, and all day Sundays and public holidays.



The key program objectives for the After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants are to:

  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of AHPHC for patients, particularly those with limited access to health services.
  • Improve access to AHPHC through effective planning, coordination and support for population based AHPHC.

Other Program Objectives are:

  • Develop innovative solutions to address service gaps and improve access to after hours primary health care, ensuring consideration is ongoing for vulnerable populations and those who have not been well served by previous after hours arrangements, such as rural and remote populations.
  • Address the lack of, or inequity of access to, after hours primary health care through targeted (and collaborative) programs.
  • Improve patient outcomes through working collaboratively with health professionals and services to integrate and facilitate a seamless patient experience.
  • Address fragmentation, increase efficiency and effectiveness and implement systems to support effective communication and continuity of care across after hours service providers and patient’s regular General Practitioner (GP).
  • Work with key local after hours stakeholders, including state and territory governments to plan, coordinate and support population based after hours primary health care.
  • Foster local level solutions and enable a greater focus of specific target groups, particularly where the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) incentive may not reach.
  • Increase consumer awareness of after hours primary health care available in their community and improve patient health literacy on the appropriate health services to access in the after hours period.



A total of $500,000 is available for a number of services/ projects to be delivered between December 2015 and June 2016.

After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants funding will be provided through a formal funding agreement for the period of 1 January 2016 – 30 June 2016. The agreement will set out the terms and conditions of the funding in detail. Applicants should ensure they are familiar with and, where necessary, seek legal advice on, the terms and conditions of the proposed funding agreement.

All funded organisations will be required to maintain up-to-date service details in the National Health Services Directory as part of the funding agreement.


Eligible Projects

Services or projects funded under the After Hours Primary Care Innovation Grants scheme will be considered ‘pilot’ projects with a view to further developing or expanding successful projects in 2016-17.

Two grant streams have been established for this purpose:

Service Delivery Stream:  primary health care providers will be funded to deliver services immediately and are expected to be established organisations delivering services with capacity to implement a new project or extend an existing service. Submissions should be for $100,000 or less.

Service Development Stream:  primary health care providers will be funded to develop their organisational capacity in order to establish a robust service model which can be implemented following the grant cessation. Submissions should be for $50,000 or less.


Eligible Applicants

Applicants considered eligible for funding are those that can demonstrate they meet the following criteria:

  • Are located within and provide services in Melbourne, Yarra, Moreland, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank, Melton, Hume, Darebin or parts of Moorabool and Macedon Ranges.
  • Provide a service/ project during the after hours period or can demonstrate how the service/ project will impact on the after hours period if not delivered directly during the after hours period.
  • Are able to complete the service/ project from 1 January – 30 June 2016.
  • If a General Practice, must be accredited.
  • Can provide evidence of appropriate insurance and credentials to deliver the service (e.g public liability to cover a minimum of $20 million).
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Applicant organisations may form partnerships or a consortium with other organisations located outside the NWMPHN region where relevant to the application. Collaborative applications are encouraged.



Applications close 27 November 2015.

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