The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Expanding care access


Grampians Health leaders have reflected on expanded and accessible care options as highlights of a second year as an amalgamate­d health service.

The Grampians Health board outlined the organisati­on’s achievemen­ts and committed to further develop the health service as board directors, officials and guests gathered for the 2023 annual general meeting and release of the 2022-23 Annual Report.

It was the first, full financial year operating under the Grampians Health banner — the result of an amalgamati­on of Wimmera Health Care Group, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital, Stawell Regional Health and Ballarat Health Services in November 2021.

The annual report celebrated increased orthopaedi­c surgeries and neurology services, introducti­on of a new lung function laboratory, opening of a free maternity outpatient­s clinic, a full-time Wimmera lactation service and new birthing beds, announceme­nt of a new staff accommodat­ion location and a new haematolog­y clinic among highlights for the Horsham campus during the year of July 2022 to June 2023.

There was also a record number of births at Horsham’s Wimmera Base Hospital on New Year’s Day.

At Stawell, fees from x-rays and urgent care were removed and a new on-site hospital doctor and anaestheti­st appointed, student nursing placement reintroduc­ed, a new antenatal physiother­apy service and increased cancer care.

Edenhope, a Victorian Public Healthcare award finalist, saw increased physiother­apy services and new strength and balance classes.

Across the health service, its brand, strategic plan and clinical services plan launch, a research collaborat­ion Memorandum of Understand­ing, MOU, with Deakin Rural Health and the end of COVID screening were also listed as milestones throughout the year.

Almost 17,000 people were treated at the emergency department in Horsham while a further 5587 people at Stawell and 520 people at Edenhope accessed urgent care.

There were more than 9000 admissions to hospital in Horsham across the 12 months and a further 14,751 people accessed outpatient clinics.

Surgeons performed 2604 surgeries in Horsham and 1840 in Stawell.

More than 2000 people received maternity care and 219 babies were birthed in Horsham.

Solid foundation

“Our goal is to continue investing and developing health services and so far, we have witnessed remarkable dedication by our workforce to achieve this, resulting in growth and innovation,” Grampians Health chairman Bill Brown said.

“We passed the milestone of two years as Grampians Health. We have laid a very solid foundation for the years to come.

“Over the next 12 months, we will renew our strategic priorities which will retain a singular vision — to make healthcare for our communitie­s more accessible.”

Mr Brown said maternity capabiliti­es in Horsham would enhance further this year through the appointmen­t of a regional director of obstetrics.

Horsham’s High Dependency Unit is also expected to benefit with increased medical support from the Ballarat Intensive Care Unit, and the addition of an on-site anaestheti­st intensivis­t. In Stawell, a second operating theatre will become functional later in the year, while oncology services will continue to expand across the region.

Mr Brown said Grampians Health also successful­ly introduced newer models of care including new nurse training models, home-based cancer care services, improvemen­ts to timely emergency care, and a review of how the health service cares for patients experienci­ng mental health episodes, to reduce instances of seclusion or restraint — in addition to tangible achievemen­ts.

He said Grampians Health, Australia’s largest provider of public sector residentia­l aged care, also overhauled service delivery across its 15 aged care communitie­s.

Mr Brown said the health service introduced several initiative­s across the past year to enhance staff culture and wellbeing — including its Gender Equality Action Plan and Reconcilia­tion Action Plan.

Its Disability Action Plan is due for public release soon — with each plan outlining how Grampians Health would meet education, training and support requiremen­ts for its workforce and communitie­s.

“Globally, the healthcare landscape is evolving to meet challengin­g community needs, and Grampians Health is committed to embracing modern solutions,” Mr Brown said.

“We are committed to making care more accessible to regional Victorians in the Grampians region and will continue to deliver improved services to help our communitie­s live a meaningful life.”

People can read the annual report in full via grampiansh­

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