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The Planning and Performance Team is responsible for leading a comprehensive and iterative health-needs assessment and activity planning process for the population of Central and Eastern Sydney PHN. The ongoing development of the Needs Assessment and Activity Work Plans are key elements of the PHN’s commissioning strategy. These activities are undertaken in partnership with key partners and other stakeholders to ensure priority health needs including emerging needs are identified, and local evidence based solutions are implemented to improve the health of the region’s population.

Current versions of the Needs Assessment and Activity Work Plans for Central and Eastern Sydney PHN are available below.


About the Needs Assessment

The Central and Eastern PHN Health Needs Assessment identifies key population health and related social needs, service gaps, and opportunities for better health and wellbeing in our region. It helps to guide an understanding of how to improve health and wellbeing outcomes and improve and transform care.  

How the Needs Assessment is developed

We undertake a comprehensive process of analysing relevant data such as Census and service delivery data and actively seek input from the community, health services, experts, and our staff on the priority needs.   

We are also committed to working with other Local Health Districts, specialty health networks, and other health and community partners to develop a shared understanding of the needs and ways to address them.  

The information from engagement with stakeholders and data analysis are woven together to present a holistic and coherent picture of needs, priorities, and opportunities is written every three years with updates to the document made each year. The Department of Health and Aged Care receive and approve of these documents.   

In 2024, we are working on a new Needs Assessment to strengthen the focus on some priority communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and multicultural communities. 

What we do with the Health Needs Assessment 

Stakeholder engagement and insights, combined with the rigorous analysis of public datasets, such as Census data and other relevant information, provide us with a comprehensive picture of appropriate and fit-for-purpose responses that support, strengthen, and shape a person-centered primary healthcare system.   

In summary, we use the Needs Assessment to:  

  • Identify community health and wellbeing needs and gaps in service delivery  
  • Report to the Department of Health and Aged Care on priorities and opportunities for change  
  • Internally develop our work plan for commissioning services and programs  
  • Inform our strategic direction  
  • Engage with current and potential health service providers 
  • Share insights and data with services and the community so that they can use it to inform their work and advocacy  
  • Build relationships and engage with the community  

Refer to the Needs Assessment Guide on the Department of Health’s PHN website for a detailed outline of the approach to conducting needs assessments.

2022-24 Needs Assessment (2023 annual update)

Past needs assessments

2022 Needs Assessment


2021 CESPHN Needs Assessment – Executive Summary

2021 CESPHN Needs Assessment

2019 CESPHN Needs Assessment

2018 CESPHN Needs Assessment

2017 CESPHN Needs Assessment

2016 CESPHN Needs Assessment

Mental health needs assessments

2017 Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Needs Assessment

Drug and alcohol needs assessments

2019 Drug and Alcohol Needs Assessment

2017 Drug and Alcohol Needs Assessment


For further information, please contact the Planning Team on 1300 986 991.