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It Takes A Village: Harnessing the power of strategic partnerships to improve health outcomes for children and young people in Queensland


Helen-Louise Usher ,

Children's Health Queensland, AU
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Frank Tracey,

Children's Health Queensland, AU
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Perrin Moss,

Children's Health Queensland, AU
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Lynne Seear

Children's Health Queensland, AU
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Introduction: It is well recognised in business that strategic partnerships can facilitate the realisation of important objectives and build profitability. Key partnerships can bring significant opportunities and speed the progress of new initiatives.

This is true also of public healthcare where the development of cooperative relationships is critical to staying on the leading edge of new technology and developing long-term sustainable capabilities. By bringing together partners with different skillsets and a shared vision, we can leverage scarce resources and specialist skills to reach our integrated care objectives.

Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) is a specialist state wide hospital and health service providing high-quality, family-centred care for children and young people from across Queensland and northern New South Wales, Australia. We partner with hospitals, health services and non-government organisations to ensure every child and young person has access to the best possible care. Families are a vital part of our team and we place the child and family at the heart of all we do.

Children’s Health Queensland’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020 identifies partnerships as one of the  key strategies in improving service coordination and integration, and optimising health outcomes for children and young people.

This includes partnering with adult services to ensure continuity of care into adulthood; partnering with health sector providers locally and state wide to inform state and national policy; strengthening emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family access to eliminate barriers to services, promote shared leadership, grow the Indigenous workforce and build cultural competency; partnering with public, primary health organisations and agencies to encourage further development of protection, promotion, prevention and early intervention services; and working with non-government organisations and charities to provide targeted support services  to children, young people and their families.

CHQ has developed a unique suite of partnerships, which are all directed at providing enhanced family-centred care. This suite includes clinical, nonclinical, research, educational and arts-in-health partnerships which all combine to create innovation in integrated care delivery. Being open to partnerships and networking underpins the foundations of integrated care, and aligns with the CHQ values of Imagination and Care.

Aim: This presentation showcases CHQ’s portfolio of partnerships and our approach to integrating care. We present the key ingredients required to realise the benefits of successful strategic partnerships. The presentation will also explore some of the drawbacks of strategic partnerships and lessons learned along our journey.

Targeted Population: Children and young people across Queensland moving across primary and tertiary levels of care.

Key Stakeholders: Key Stakeholders include patients, families, clinicians and partner organisations across Australia.

Timeline: CHQ’s partnerships work will be sustainable across the long-term with medium to long-term impacts realised over the next 5-10 years.

Transferability: Information from this presentation will be transferable to other hospitals and health services.

Conclusions: Take home messages include identifying partnership opportunities; defining the partnership value; giving relationships time to develop to fruition; respecting differences and diversity; recognising the importance of creating clear expectations and boundaries; and aligning organisational vision and values.

How to Cite: Usher H-L, Tracey F, Moss P, Seear L. It Takes A Village: Harnessing the power of strategic partnerships to improve health outcomes for children and young people in Queensland. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2018;18(s1):91. DOI:
Published on 12 Mar 2018.


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