Supporting a primary health care provider on their strategic journey so they could better understand, evidence and address community needs.

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Hunter Primary Care (HPC) is a primary health care provider in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales with goals to address the persistent and emerging health and wellbeing needs of its community. HPC sought to improve its internal capability in strategic planning and to define its future strategic priorities. The Executive team engaged Ellis Jones to support them on their strategic journey so they could better understand, evidence and address community needs through evaluated initiatives and build a strategic framework that would engage leadership, board and staff.


Developing the HPC strategic plan required an integrated process of research, strategy and design thinking, supported with narrative and visual communication.

Activities and outputs included:

  • A policy and contextual review to understand regional, state and national funding opportunities and health priorities.
  • In-depth interviews with internal stakeholders and external collaborators to understand operational (clinical) and other service delivery settings.
  • A community survey to understand health perceptions and needs in the HPC catchment area.
  • Analysis of customer data exported from HPC systems.
  • An integrated research report that surfaced key findings and areas to investigate and model though strategic planning and design-led innovation processes.
  • Shared value framing in ELT and SLT workshops to assess and define opportunities for addressing community needs, financially sustainably.
  • Designing of process and tools to define the business case for projects that could be tabled with the Board for investment.
  • Decision-making frameworks to assess the impact of shared value initiatives and prioritise those for Board consideration.
  • Remodelling strategic directions to link the organisational purpose with key activities required to meet community need, while strengthening the workforce.


There were three overarching outcomes from the project:

  • Knowledge transfer with supporting process and tool design for ongoing application by HPC leaders and subject matter experts in a planned stream of innovation activity.
  • A five-year strategic plan, comprising clear strategic direction, key activities, and roadmap, which was endorsed by the board and key external stakeholders. The plan was supported with more detailed internal activity frameworks.
  • Support with advice and a high level strategic approach on how to activate the plan in its first year, getting it before employees and the external health and social organisations needed to achieve impact in the community.

Importantly, the program of work standardised new knowledge among organisational leaders, and motivated them to think about how their competencies could be used in ongoing and novel ways.

The strategic plan document introduced a narrative and visual language that established the strategic journey and ‘marked’ related collateral. It will guide all related documentation and interactions in future, supporting the changes in thinking and behaviour that HPC will seek to make, over time.

Read the Hunter Primary Care Strategic Plan 2022-2025.


A front cover of the Hunter Primary Care strategic plan.
Research stats about how Hunter Primary Care can address community needs.
A snapshot of the Hunter Primary Care strategy.