NSW Health is reforming the way in which it works with and funds the non-Government sector to deliver health and related services to people and communities across NSW.

Partnerships for Health

Following the detailed review of the grants system in 2012 by the Grants Management Improvement Program Taskforce, NSW Health developed Partnerships for Health to respond to the recommendations made in the Taskforce report.

The reforms outlined in Partnerships for Health aim to:

  • provide greater transparency to the community in how NSW Health works with and funds the NGO sector
  • align the services provided by the NGO sector more closely with NSW Health’s priorities
  • increase accountability for delivery and performance, and improve value of money.
  • streamline processes and reduce bureaucracy
  • increase opportunities for partnership with the NGO sector

​Communications to NGO partners

May 2017 update

Each year NSW Health continues to allocate over $150 million through approximately 395 Ministerially Approved Grants (MAG) to more than 310 non-government organisations (NGOs) across the State.
MAG funding assists with the delivery of important community based services that support the health and wellbeing of the public, in particular vulnerable or hard to reach populations.
Prior to the commencement of the 2017-18 financial year, your NSW Health grant manager, whether a Ministry branch, local health district (LHD), specialty network or other health entity contact, will write to you to provide information about funding arrangements for your MAG commencing from 1 July 2017. You should have received this letter by now or shortly.
The letter will provide information about the duration of the MAG funding agreement and specific arrangements to support continuous improvement in the partnership and impact of services delivered by your organisation. NGOs that already have existing long term agreements in place that were confirmed in previous financial years, will continue per these arrangements.
Reviews and consultation work during the 2016-17 financial year has informed these arrangements for 2017-18 and beyond. The following Partnerships for Health principles supported the determination of what arrangements should apply to each MAG going forward:
  • establish funding arrangements that support services’ sustainability;
  • support services to better align with NSW Government priorities;
  • enable capacity building in NGOs through training/education;
  • enhance performance frameworks; and
  • ensure a needs based strategic approach for procuring services going forward.
If you have any queries regarding the content of the letter you receive, please direct these to the grant manager listed as the contact person in the correspondence. I have also included below this email a list of LHD and program area lead contacts for your information. Following the circulation of letters to all recipients of MAGs, NSW Health will work with its NGO partners to update funding agreements to reflect new arrangements, with this expected to be completed by September 2017.
For recipients of MAGs that fall within the women’s health, kids and families, and drug and alcohol Partnerships for Health program area, please note that your letters will confirm funding for 2017-18. However, reviews and consultation work about appropriate future arrangements are ongoing with a view to updating arrangements once this is completed and approved. You will be provided with further information about this in the near future, with all of this work due to be finalised before December 2017.
Community transport MAGs are subject to a separate process and the Ministry will continue to work closely with NGOs and LHDs to smoothly deliver this.
Thank you again for your hard work and determination, as individuals and organisations, to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the communities you serve, with support from NSW Health’s Partnerships for Health funding.
We look forward to strengthening our partnerships through enhanced arrangements with NGOs in 2017-18. 

December 2016 update

In December 2016, NSW Health circulated a Partnerships for Health program update to all NGOs currently recieving Ministerially approved grants, which is provided below. The communication also attached a document outlining expected key milstones over the coming financial years for program areas that comprise Partnerships for Health.

NSW Health can now advise that base funding for non-government organisations (NGOs) delivering services as partners for 2017-18 has been approved, subject to the maintenance of funding in the 2017 State Budget.

During 2016-17, NSW Health has continued to work closely with its NGO partners to determine reform directions, future priorities and new key performance indicators across program streams. Further information outlining progress this year in each area and planning for 2017-18 is provided in the attached NGO Reform: Key Program Milestones – Communications Summary.

Across program streams, extensive consultation is now taking place or will commence early in 2017 between NSW Health and NGOs to determine individual purchasing arrangements for 1 July 2017 and beyond.

It is anticipated that a number of program streams will move to longer term purchasing arrangements with associated performance frameworks. This will allow NSW Health to maintain and extend partnerships with the NGO sector to deliver on government priorities.

Some arrangements will continue on a one year basis with plans to work to ensure alignment with government priorities and directions, and improved outcomes against performance frameworks.

It is expected that NSW Health program streams will commence communicating with NGOs from February 2017 about individual funding arrangements for 1 July 2017. NSW Health will provide significant notice of any future changes to arrangements with NGOs.

NSW Health continues to value the important partnership its holds with NGOs. We appreciate your ongoing commitment and determination as our reform work continues to enhance the way we work together to deliver the best outcomes to the communities we serve.

Key program milestones

Further information

Page Updated: Tuesday 23 May 2017
Contact page owner: Health and Social Policy