The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has begun consulting with communities and health staff to develop an Integrated Clinical Services Plan for Dubbo, Narromine and Wellington.
Mark Spittal, Executive Director of Operations for the WNSWLHD said that the Plan would inform how both services and infrastructure would be developed across the three locations.
“A Clinical Services Plan – or CSP – uses data and consultation to look at how health needs are going to change over the next decade or so, and describes what services and infrastructure might be required.
“That then allows us to both develop services and seek funding for infrastructure over time.
“Dubbo, Narromine and Wellington already have strong connections with each other, and we want to build on that by having an integrated CSP. This approach means we can ensure local needs are described, as well as look at how the three sites can work together to provide a range of services that address the needs of the broader population.”
Mr Spittal said that the CSP process was critical at a time when healthcare faced unique challenges.
“We have a large geographic area. Our populations are aging and their health needs are becoming more complex. The challenges of recruiting to our workforce are greater than ever.
“There are also huge changes happening in the way healthcare is provided. More people are being cared for at home rather than having to come to hospital, and, as we’ve seen through the COVID-19 pandemic, more healthcare is being successfully provided remotely using virtual technology.
“We need to consider how those kinds of changes can be reflected in local communities.”
Narromine Health Service Manager, Sanu T Joy said that the CSP would welcome input from community members.
“It’s great that there are several ways that the community can be included in this process. There will be an online survey as well as drop-in sessions where anyone can come and learn more about the process, their community’s health needs and challenges, and provide their input. That information is really valuable, and it’s also an opportunity for the community to learn more about their health, what we do, and how our services all work together.”
Wellington Health Service Manager Steven Dyer also added that the integrated plan would help ensure all the sites would have their particular roles described and respected.
“As a smaller site, close to a large centre like Dubbo, it’s important for us to have our own needs recognised. Having an integrated plan like this means that we’re not planning or operating in isolation from each other, when the reality is that our communities need us to be working together.”
General Manager of the Dubbo Health Service Debbie Bickerton said that there had already been substantial service planning undertaken at Dubbo as part of the Health Service Redevelopment, but there was still more work to do.
“Dubbo Health Service will continue to grow alongside our community. Those changes have an impact for all the neighbouring towns and villages and our planning should reflect that.
“The Dubbo community has been great throughout the redevelopment project, so I’m very keen to see its contribution to the building of the integrated CSP,” said Ms Bickerton.
Community drop in sessions have also been planned at the Wellington Health Service on June 10, from 4.30 to 6.30 and at the Narromine Health Service on June 16 from 4.30 to 6.30. Residents are welcome to attend at any time while the drop in sessions are available.
Pop-up consultations are also scheduled for:
June 3 – 10am-1pm outside Myer
June 9 – 2pm-5pm Orana Mall
June 2 – 10am-1pm Coles carpark
June 3 – 2pm-5pm Coles carpark
June 2 – 2pm-5pm – Coles arcade
June 9 – 10am-1pm – Coles arcade