Policy Frameworks

What is a policy framework?

Policy frameworks came into effect on 1 July 2016 and provide strategic, systemwide policy direction for the WA health system.

Under the Health Services Act 2016, the Director General can issue binding policy frameworks for health service providers (HSPs) (i.e. CAHS, EMHS, NMHS, SMHS, WACHS, HSS and Quadriplegic Centre) to ensure service coordination and integration, and efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of health services across the WA health system.

Policy frameworks contain reference to mandatory requirements, as well as supporting information. HSPs are responsible for the establishment of local policy for their services, consistent with the relevant policy frameworks.

To view the 18 policy frameworks, visit the Policy Frameworks page (external site).

What has happened to Operational Directives (ODs) and Information Circulars (ICs)?

Current Operational Directives (ODs) and Information Circulars (ICs) continue to exist and are grouped under the relevant policy frameworks. ODs and ICs deemed no longer relevant or out of date will be withdrawn over time, subject to appropriate consultation with HSPs. All relevant ODs and ICs contained within a policy framework will progressively be developed into a mandatory policy, or a supporting information document. Compliance with ODs and ICs contained within the mandatory requirements section of a policy framework is required.

What are the benefits for patients, the community and staff?

Policy frameworks are aligned to national and international best practice and provide greater consistency and transparency to ensure the quality and safety of health services. They support strong governance foundations with clear roles and responsibilities to enable better decision-making, operation and risk management. Policy frameworks also support greater authority and innovation within HSPs to meet the needs of local communities, including decision-making closer to service delivery and patient care.

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You can search and retrieve (external site) all current and historic policy types on the database.

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