Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services - Strengthening Partnerships

Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services have announced a decision to explore partnership options, including a possible voluntary amalgamation, to enhance the delivery of services and create better health outcomes for local people across the Wimmera region.

The Boards stated their intentions to consider better partnering options in August this year. Analysis has been undertaken by independent consultant Cube Group, following the completion of phase 1 work. The next phase will include further assessment and community consultation over the next three months.

The Boards have made the decision to proceed to the next stage, based on a number of significant benefits including: better health outcomes for people across the region; greater access to clinical health care locally; strengthened capacity and expansion of services; greater workforce opportunities, training and development; enhanced models of care and effective health services for the future.

Together, we are looking at ways to further enhance the partnerships between our regional health services to provide safe and accessible care closer to home.

Community consultation is being undertaken from 2 November 2020 until 28 February 2021.
The community is invited to participate in a range of consultation activities including filling in a feedback form, making a submission or attending a consultation session/workshop.

Tell us what is important to you to enhance services and improve health outcomes for people in the Wimmera region. Your views are valued.

 

About the project

An assessment will be undertaken in relation to workforce, financial, service delivery and governance impacts of any partnership. Each Board will then make a decision in relation to their individual health service.

The Boards recognise substantial opportunities for enhanced clinical governance, regulatory compliance, aged care compliance and accreditation, financial capability and clinical service delivery through exploring partnership opportunities.

It is important to note that any partnership options being explored would focus on enhancing service delivery. There would be no loss of services. 

The services have been working very closely in planning and responding to COVID-19 over recent months and this has shown the greater benefits of the health services working together. Examples include Intensive Care Unit collaboration, Aged care collaboration and public health testing. Other successful partnership outcomes to date include expanded oncology services and strong IT systems and support.

 

We will keep communities informed through our website, social media, media, meetings/sessions and letters as we work through this process.

Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital - Strengthening Partnerships

Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital has also announced that they will explore opportunities to become an integral part of healthcare in the region and to expand their expertise in caring for community members locally. 

Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Saunders said: “Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital has been providing excellent healthcare for the local community for more than 100 years. We have grown into a leading provider of rural health services and we offer a range of hospital, primary care, mental health, community health and aged care services. We have a great team of a skilled and dedicated healthcare professionals and administrators and growing our strengths and looking for opportunities is critical to delivering high quality care into the future.

In order to enhance access to health care services and improve health outcomes for the Edenhope community, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital is going to explore a number of partnership options (including strengthened partnerships, shared service agreements or possible voluntary amalgamation) with Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services.

Before any decision is made the process will include extensive community and staff consultation. An assessment of the costs, benefits and risks will lead to the development of a business case which will enable the Board to make an informed decision on the best way forward,” he said.

Mr Saunders said: “The Board is adamant that any decision to move forward must achieve the best outcome for Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital and the community.

Residents of Edenhope and its surrounding communities experience some of the highest rates of chronic illness and ill health in Victoria. The population is ageing and we will need greater access to specialist health care in the future. 

We are exploring opportunities because the healthcare environment in which we operate today is changing rapidly and we need a long-term plan to ensure our health service can meet the future health needs of our community,” he said.

Benefits of partnering include: 

  • Greater access to health care locally – both now and in the future
  • Sustainability and future viability of clinical services and capacity across the region, and 
  • Strengthening our workforce, developing their clinical skills and enhancing career opportunities and development.

Mr Saunders said: “In recent years, the amount of hospital care we provide to our community has been declining. Hospital Admissions have fallen by one quarter over the past five years and fallen almost three quarters compared to 15 years ago. Low levels of activity make it difficult for our staff to get the experience and development they need and to sustain our services into the future. Partnering with other, larger health services will improve the level of activity at our hospital and create new opportunities for our staff, so that we can continue to provide outstanding care at Edenhope well into the future.”

He said: “Many patients from our community travel to Horsham or Ballarat to access specialist health care that isn’t available in Edenhope. By working in partnership with Wimmera Healthcare Group and Ballarat Health Services, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital is able to provide post-operative and rehabilitation care that will enable those patients who access care in Horsham or Ballarat to get back closer to home quicker. Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital has under-utilised bed capacity and experienced skilled staff that can provide this care. We can do this so that local residents can be cared for closer to home and to take pressure off the high levels of demand at Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services. This then benefits all our communities.”

The health services are considering how to work more closely together to provide better access to clinical care locally, to allow people to return to the community more quickly, and to strengthen the skills and capacity of the workforce at Edenhope and the region. There would be no reduction in local services and no loss of local jobs.

Community Consultation will be undertaken from 1 March to 21 May. There will be a range of opportunities for people to have their say over the coming months, through surveys, consultation sessions online, through face to face sessions, and through submissions. We want to hear community views on local health care priorities, opportunities and challenges and how they can be addressed.  

We will keep communities informed through our website, social media, media, letters, meetings and consultation activities as we work through this process. For more information click here 

Have your say - Wimmera

A range of consultation options are available until 28 February 2021:

Make a submission
Write to: Partnership Proposal, Wimmera Health Care Group - 83 Baillie Street, Horsham VIC 3400 
Email: partnering@whcg.org.au

Attend a consultation session in January/February 2021
A range of consultation sessions are being planned in January and February 2021. To register your interest to attend a consultation session, please email: partnering@whcg.org.au

Fill in a feedback form or find out more information via the websites
Wimmera Health Care Group – www.whcg.org.au

Phone:
Wimmera Health Care Group - (03) 5381 9293

 

Have your say - Edenhope

A range of consultation options will be undertaken from 1 March to 21 May 2021

There will be a range of opportunities for people to have their say over the coming months, through surveys, consultation sessions online, through face to face sessions, and through submissions.

We want to hear community views on local health care priorities, opportunities and challenges and how they can be addressed. 

 

Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.