Patients across Western NSW deserve health care that is modern, sustainable and above all high quality, Local Health District Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said today.
Mr McLachlan said planning for the future of health care in the region is integral to ensure patients continue to have access to best treatments, closer to home.
“The Western NSW Local Health District is committed to improving our community’s health outcomes and to do so, we need to plot the future path of services in this region,” Mr McLachlan said.
“As part of this planning process, we have had the opportunity, as a District, to reflect on the way we care for the community".
Mr McLachlan said the Western NSW Local Health District is speaking with clinicians, staff, unions and the community on what needs to be done to make its health services more sustainable and appropriate to meet the needs of patients.
“The District has been and will continue to be open and transparent about the changes being made to improve our health services.
“Patient care will not be compromised as part of these changes – this District is committed to improving health outcomes for rural people and ensuring equitable access to care for vulnerable communities.
“The District’s Strategic Health Services Plan 2013-2016 clearly shows that we will continue to prioritise enhanced systems of patient care, place a stronger focus on high performing primary health care, live within our means, aim to deliver equitable health care and provide care for people as close to home as possible,” Mr McLachlan said.
Mr McLachlan said the Sustainability Taskforce was established in July 2013 to drive and support the implementation of strategies identified by staff and clinicians.
Strategies have so far included:
- Clinicians and managers working together to make sure every dollar is spent wisely;
- Working with local GPs and other care providers to better support patients at home freeing up beds for emergency patients and improving the model of care for patients with chronic illness to decrease the need for hospital admission;
- Working with local clinicians to reduce any unnecessary delay in discharge and bring average length of stay closer to similar facilities across the state;
- Reducing premium labour costs for agency doctors and nurses through permanent recruitment; reducing prices for consumables; improving contracts for a range of goods and reducing costs associated with staff travel, accommodation and fleet.
“Modern health services are all about right care, in the right place, at the right time and it is important to recognise that best patient care is not always in the hospital setting.
“In Western NSW, we have much to be proud of. Every day we are delivering better health care for our community, while pursuing innovative new models of care that are leading to enhanced patient outcomes.
“I’m incredibly proud of what our District is achieving for patients and I want to see this good work not only continue but develop and flourish well into the future.
“After all, it is the effort, dedication and commitment to excellence from our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and hospital staff which shows the people of our region that they are in safe hands.
“I will continue to be open and transparent about the work we need to do and will provide regular updates to the community.”
Mr McLachlan said the 2013/14 budget for the Western NSW Local Health District is $749.6 million which is an increase of $25 million or 3.5 per cent on the last financial year. The District recorded a deficit result of $19.5 million in 2012-13.
The Western NSW budget is available on the Local Health District website - www.wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au.
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