HERDU is reviewing and updating the current Sydney Local Health District Equity framework. The Equity Framework informs how equity is addressed within SLHD and will potentially benefit staff, patients, and community members through supporting and strengthening taking action on Equity within the district.

Chief investigators

  • Associate Professor Fiona Haigh HERDU, UNSW
  • Dr Esther Alloun HERDU, UNSW
  • Dr Cathy O’Callaghan HERDU, UNSW
  • Associate Professor Marilyn Wise, HERDU, UNSW
  • Ms Miriam Olliek, HERDU, SLHD
  • Ms Wendy Jopson, HERDU, UNSW

Project Rationale

Addressing inequity has been a major theme within NSW Health, the Australian health system and other health systems internationally. Local Health Districts (LHD) are not only responsible for the delivery of hospital services but the broader public health of their communities.

In 2017, SLHD launched A framework for improving health equity in Sydney Local Health District: Opportunity for all (Equity Framework). This framework provides a foundation for identifying inequity in health and health care and taking action to reduce it, being clear about values, building on existing good work and further understanding what health services can do to reduce health inequity.

It has been five years since the SLHD Framework was launched. The Health Equity Research Development Unit (HERDU) has been requested to review and update the current Framework. HERDU is a partnership between Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and UNSW Sydney.

Project Aim/s

  • Identify levels of understanding of health equity and the perception of the relevance of equity to SLHD.
  • Identify:
    • how health equity is currently incorporated into different areas within SLHD.
    • how SLHD takes account of health equity in decision making and service delivery.
    • key stakeholders’ views on key components of the Equity Framework.
    • gain knowledge on the current understanding of health equity within the district for Aboriginal peoples and the role (current and potential) of the Equity Framework.
  • To develop an updated Health Equity framework for SLHD.
  • Advance knowledge about how to embed health equity within health systems and services.

Project Design and Method

This is a multistage project involving:

  • A scoping  review.
  • A three-phase participatory research project consisting of focus groups, interviews and on-line surveys. This includes a specific research stream to provide insights into Aboriginal peoples equitable access and standards of health care across the SLHD.
  • Development of updated Equity framework and associated tools.


Fiona Haigh
Email: f.haigh@unsw.edu.au

Key Partners

Sydney Local Health District


Sydney Local Health District




Research Area

Action for Equity