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    Dale Fraser.

Connection key ‘six months on’

By Jessica Grimble

Grampians Health has listed staff appointments, increased and co-ordinated
services and community connections as highlights of its initial six months of operation.

The organisation released its ‘Six Months On’ report last week, detailing its progress towards healthcare, wellbeing and economic outcomes and forecasting deliverables for the future.

Appointment of a senior leadership team, a whole-of-region COVID-19 response and maintaining connections to fundraising groups for the benefit of local communities are also listed among the highlights.

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Grampians Health has also established governance measures such as its new board of representatives from across the region, along with community advisory and reference groups.

Grampians Health is a result of the amalgamation of Wimmera Health Care Group, Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital, Stawell Regional Health and Ballarat Health Services in November.

Grampians Health chief executive Dale Fraser said leadership would maintain a presence across the Wimmera, with chief strategy and regions officer Dr Rob Grenfell of Natimuk and regional director hospitals – west, Carolyn Robertson, formerly of Hopetoun, securing key roles.

“When they speak, they speak with great authority – and they’re part of the community,” Mr Fraser said.

Edenhope and Stawell will also maintain site leadership locally.

The report listed other highlights including more outpatient appointments in Horsham with 7476 patients – 1476 above target; re-commencing specialist rehabilitation services in Horsham and re-opening the day oncology program at Stawell; increased local paediatrics to Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and Maryborough and expanded telehealth options, and expanded paediatric physiotherapy in Horsham; appointment of a regional obstetrician and an occupational therapist for Edenhope.

Mr Fraser said a 32-bed accommodation plan for Horsham, announced earlier this month, would benefit recruitment efforts in the Wimmera.

“Across the first six months we have tried to minimise the direct impact of what we may be doing on the staff,” he said.

“Staff are just getting on with the job and doing a fantastic job. We are rolling out a range of wellness programs in response to COVID-19 – food packs or break packs, for example, creating a welcoming environment for staff.

“We have a lot of work to do to bring the culture of the organisation together – a many-year piece of work.

“We have a level of capability at each of the sites and have a strong and rich future for the service because of everyone there.

“As one of the region’s largest employers, we will continue to invest in jobs, technology and infrastructure to provide better healthcare, enhance services and advance careers – closer to home.”  

The report provides updates to the five benefits the amalgamation proposed: Increasing community access to services; building the strength and capacity of each service; creating opportunities for the workforce; delivering a more effective health system; and building community trust and engagement.

“Throughout the six months, we’ve done great things – but with a bit of clear air and fresh breeze, we can do a lot more,” Mr Fraser said.

“We are excited with the progress so far, but there’s a lot more to do.”

Mr Fraser said a number of clinical improvement measures were connected to the organisation’s new clinical services plan, due for release in July alongside its new strategic plan.  

People can read the Six Months On report via website

Grampians Health chief outlines future goals

The entire June 22, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!