The draft report from the independent review into Bathurst Health Service (BHS) has been released today to key stakeholders for consultation and consideration.
The review was the outcome from discussions with staff, Medical Staff Council, the Health Council, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and Local MP Paul Toole to identify solutions to secure the future of the BHS.
“The purpose of the review, led by Dr Philip Hoyle, Ms Sue Hair and Mr Philip Cornish, was to examine services at BHS and how best to deliver efficient, effective patient care into the future,” said Western NSW Local Health Chief Executive, Scott McLachlan.
“The review was a unique and significant piece of work that for the first time set out to map the path for the future of the BHS,” said Mr McLachlan.
“I want to be clear that there is absolutely no plan to downgrade or close Bathurst Hospital. This review has played an important role in securing the services Bathurst Hospital provides now and into the future.
“The key findings of the review confirm that Bathurst Health Service, while effective in the care it provides to patients, is operating at too small a volume to be financially efficient given the need of the Bathurst community to have access to specialist services locally,” he said.
“The reviewers have put forward a number of recommendations as solutions including increasing the volume of patients treated at Bathurst, improving patient flow systems, examining costs of diagnostic services, and strengthening medical staff through links across the Local Health District and to metropolitan services.
“There are also recommendations for improved support systems and consent processes for rehabilitation patients and improved transport systems and better access to some community based services,” he said.
“All of the proposed solutions to improve the financial viability of BHS, including the option of making the hospital the elective public patient joint replacement centre for the eastern part of the Local Health District, will now need to be carefully considered and analysed,” he said.
“As a first step we will be explaining the findings of the review to the key stakeholders involved in the consultation process including the staff, clinicians, local and LHD management, Health Council, Mayor and local MP.
“There are several recommendations that need to be further considered,” said Mr McLachlan. “We will do this in consultative workshops with key groups who have a vested interest in the future of the BHS. These workshops will be led by the reviewers.
“One of the requests in the lead up to the review was for a Service Plan was commenced for BHS so I have decided to start this process immediately to ensure that Bathurst residents have access to a range of services that meet the needs of the community into the future,” said Mr McLachlan.
The review commenced on 18 December 2013 when Dr Hoyle and Ms Hair met with a variety of stakeholders including health councillors, the Medical Staff Council, senior management and the Clinical Council. Following this small group interviews were also held with more than 40 staff including nursing, allied health, medical and management staff.
A further two day visit took place in late January, at which point the team was joined by Mr Philip Cornish, an expert on community and rehabilitation services. This involved almost 20 sessions of in-depth discussion with many front line staff and system managers, and gathering of information for detailed analysis.
“We are very appreciative of the time and commitment given by all parties to the review process and we look forward to receiving the final report and its recommendations,” said Mr McLachlan.
Media Contact: Rebekah Bullock 0407959781