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Western NSW benefits from health service integration

13 September 2022

Residents across Western NSW are set to benefit from the integration of Dubbo’s Lourdes Hospital and Bathurst’s St Vincent’s Outreach Services into Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) operations.

The services have been operated by Catholic Healthcare (CHL) and funded by WNSWLHD since 2011. Under the new agreement, the services will be integrated into the WNSWLHD’s structure from Monday 3 October.

Mark Spittal, WNSWLHD Chief Executive, said the service integration will support continuity of care and continue the two organisations’ strong partnership history.

“Western NSW has seen increased demand for services in areas such as rehabilitation and chronic disease management in the community, and aged care,” Mr Spittal said.

“To ensure our services can continue to deliver for our communities, a mutual decision was made between our District and Catholic Healthcare to integrate some services into the district.”

Mr Spittal said under the new agreement, WNSWLHD would continue to provide inpatient and outpatient services at Lourdes Hospital, while St Vincent’s community nurses would continue to deliver high-quality outreach services to the Bathurst region.

“Lourdes Hospital and St Vincent’s Outreach Services will continue to focus on rehabilitation, palliative care, allied health, dementia support and nursing services,” Mr Spittal said.

“The integration will streamline the experience of our patients as they transition from inpatient care to rehabilitation or palliative care in the community and allow us to continue improving access to innovative and contemporary models of care for patients across both Dubbo and Bathurst.”

Karen Borg, CHL Chief Executive Officer, said the transfer of the two services to WNSWLHD will allow the not-for-profit provider to focus on delivering high quality residential aged care, home and community services, and retirement living in Dubbo, Bathurst and across Western NSW.
“We are proud of the strong relationship we’ve built with WNSWLHD, and we will continue to collaborate in providing the best care possible for older community members at every stage of their ageing journey,” Ms Borg said.
“Catholic Healthcare will remain a strong presence in the region, supported by our dedicated local team, the Catholic community and local businesses with whom we partner.”
All employees of Lourdes Hospital and St Vincent’s Outreach Services currently engaged through CHL will have their employment transferred to the WNSWLHD.
“We will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition for patients and the community, but also for employees as they are supported throughout their transition into employment with WNSWLHD,” said Ms Borg.
“By supporting highly skilled CHL staff to transfer to WNSWLHD, we can ensure patients will have consistency and continuity of high-quality care,” Mr Spittal said.

“We will continue to communicate clearly with staff and the community and investigate opportunities to develop or expand future services,” Mr Spittal said.