Health services explore partnership options to enhance health outcomes for the region
Wimmera Health Care Group and Ballarat Health Services have announced a decision to explore partnership options, including a possible voluntary amalgamation, to enhance 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.
Wimmera Health Care Group Board chair, Marie Aitken said the Boards of the two health services were working together to look at ways to further enhance the partnerships to provide safe and accessible care closer to home.
“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,” Mrs Aitken said.
“Community consultation will begin on November 2, 2020 and continue until mid-February 2021. The community is invited to participate in a range of consultation activities including filling in a survey or feedback form, making a submission or attending a consultation session/workshop,” she said.
“We are very keen to hear from the community about the opportunities for improved health care within the Wimmera region that could be achieved through greater collaboration between Ballarat and Horsham. We would like to know what is important to you, to enhance services and improve health outcomes for people in the region. Your views are valued.”
Ballarat Health Services Board chair Natalie Reiter said her Board was pleased to be working together to explore partnership options that would enhance health care services across the region.
“Our services have already been working very closely together in planning and responding to COVID-19 over recent months through Intensive Care Unit collaboration, aged care collaboration and public health testing,” Ms Reiter said.
“Other successful partnership outcomes to date include expanded oncology services and strong IT systems and support,” she said.
“Community engagement is an important part of the process and there will also be a due diligence assessment in relation to workforce, financial, service delivery and governance impacts of any partnership.”