Next step in proposal to join health services

The proposal for the voluntary amalgamation of Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health has been formally endorsed by the two health service Boards.

The proposal aims to enhance the capability of the health services to meet the current and future needs of the community, and improve access high quality health care, locally.

The submission was approved by the Boards following extensive community and staff consultation, due diligence assessment and careful consideration of the benefits and issues.

The proposal will combine the management and governance of the two organisations under one entity known as ‘Central Highlands Rural Health’.

The proposal has been submitted to the Department and Health and Human Services for review and approval from the Government. No decision has been made at this point in time.

About the Proposal:

  • There will be no reduction in services, staffing or funding.
  • Hospitals and facilities will remain in place in their current locations at Kyneton, Daylesford, Creswick, Clunes and Trentham. Local identity will be preserved.
  • Local funding will remain local and donations will remain within the community that has donated/raised the funds.
  • There will be improved access to a range of health services across the region, strengthened services, enhanced quality and more consumer-driven care.
  • Staff are valued and all staff will be part of the proposed new organisation/entity.
  • There will be enhanced opportunities for workforce and professional development.
  • Shared knowledge, skills, expertise and training of nursing, medical, allied health and other staff in the local area will help to improve patient care.
  • The future of health services will be more sustainable with the ability to attract and retain staff and specialists; secure funding for new services; meet changing patient needs/services; and meet new legislative requirements, infrastructure and technology needs.

The outcome of the Due Diligence was positive and it found no barriers in relation to the proposal to join the services. It included a comprehensive assessment of governance, clinical, technological, regulatory, human resourcing and financial matters.

Community engagement included a total of 11 consultation sessions held in five locations – Kyneton, Daylesford, Trentham, Clunes and Creswick. A survey received 71 responses. Five letters and submissions were received from community members. Advertising was undertaken and letters were sent to local stakeholder organisations to invite participation. Information was posted on the Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health websites as well as the Facebook pages, reaching over 4800 people with 385 post clicks.

Through the consultation, the theme of improving services for people of all ages and meeting the needs of our growing population came through strongly – with particular focus on family and children’s services and aged care. Retaining and enhancing local health services in local communities was another key theme. The importance of keeping existing services in place, preserving local identity and harnessing opportunities for new services in each town was highlighted. The proposal aims to achieve these outcomes.

Hepburn and Kyneton have had a shared CEO for more than two years as they have worked together to develop the proposal to join health services. It builds on and formalises the co-operative structure which has already been in place for that time.

We would like to thank staff and the community for providing valuable input into the proposal to join Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health.

Communication and consultation with staff and the community will be ongoing throughout the process through meetings, newsletters, letters, websites, email, Facebook, and media. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Write, email, phone or request a meeting to find out more.

Kyneton
7-25 Caroline Chisholm Drive, Kyneton 3444
PO Box 34 Kyneton VIC 3444
Tel: (03) 5422 9900
Email: info@kynetonhealth.org.au 

Daylesford
17 Hospital Street, Daylesford 3460
PO Box 465 Daylesford VIC 3460
Tel: (03) 5321 6500
Email: info@hhs.vic.gov.au

Clunes
69 Service Street, Clunes 3370
Tel: (03) 5345 9750

Creswick
1 Napier Street, Creswick 3363
Tel: (03) 5345 9150 or (03) 5345 9100

Trentham
22-24 Victoria Street, Trentham 3458
Tel: (03) 5421 7200 or (03) 5421 7250

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

September 2019

What is the proposal to join health services about? What has taken place? What will change?

The proposal for the voluntary amalgamation of Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health has been formally endorsed by the two health service Boards.

The proposal aims to enhance the capability of the health services to meet the current and future needs of the community and improve access to high quality health care, locally.

The submission was approved by the Boards following extensive community and staff consultation, due diligence assessment and careful consideration of the benefits and issues.

The proposal will combine the management and governance of the two organisations under one entity known as ‘Central Highlands Rural Health’. The proposal requires approval from the Government.

About the Proposal:

  • There will be no reduction in services, staffing or funding.
  • Hospitals and facilities will remain in place in their current locations at Kyneton, Daylesford, Creswick, Clunes and Trentham. Local identity will be preserved.
  • Local funding will remain local and donations will remain within the community that has donated/raised the funds.
  • There will be improved access to a range of health services across the region, strengthened services, enhanced quality and more consumer-driven care.
  • Staff are valued and all staff will be part of the proposed new organisation/entity.
  • There will be enhanced opportunities for workforce and professional development.
  • Shared knowledge, skills, expertise and training of nursing, medical, allied health and other staff in the local area will help to improve patient care.
  • The future of health services will be more sustainable with the ability to attract and retain staff; secure funding for new services; meet changing patient needs/services; and meet new legislative requirements, infrastructure and technology needs.

The outcome of the Due Diligence was positive and it found no barriers in relation to the proposal to join the services. It included a comprehensive assessment of governance, clinical, technological, regulatory, human resourcing and financial matters.

Community engagement included a total of 11 consultation sessions held in five locations – Kyneton, Daylesford, Trentham, Clunes and Creswick. A survey received 71 responses. Five letters and submissions were received from community members. Advertising was undertaken and letters were sent to local stakeholder organisations to invite participation. Information was posted on the Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health websites as well as the Facebook pages, reaching over 4800 people with 385 post clicks.

Through the consultation, the theme of improving services for people of all ages and meeting the needs of our growing population came through strongly – with particular focus on family and children’s services and aged care. Retaining and enhancing local health services in local communities was another key theme. The importance of keeping existing services in place, preserving local identity and harnessing opportunities for new services in each town was highlighted. The proposal aims to achieve these outcomes.

Hepburn and Kyneton have had a shared CEO for more than two years as they have worked together to develop the proposal to join health services. It builds on and formalises the co-operative structure which has already been in place for that time.

What are the benefits of joining services?

Joining health services will enable us to:

  • Improve access to a range of health services and enhance quality of care.
  • Share knowledge, skills, expertise and training of nursing, medical, allied health and other staff in the local area.
  • Enhance opportunities for workforce and professional development.
  • Improve operational effectiveness – over time this will allow us to invest more in patient/client care.
  • Ensure future sustainability and addressing challenges such as: attracting and retaining staff; securing funding for new services; meeting changing patient needs/services; new legislative requirements; infrastructure; technology, etc.

Will there be a name change?

  • The proposed organisation name for a combined entity is ‘Central Highlands Rural Health’
  • It is important to retain the identities/names of services at each location.

What will happen to Boards and Board Members?

  • A new entity means that a new Board will be created. In any future combined Board, there will mainly be representatives from our combined communities.
  • There is a state government policy around the appointment of Boards, and all board appointments are approved by the Minister.

What will happen to Finances? Would there be one budget? How will the funding work? Will some communities/locations be better off? Where does it go? Will we lose donations?

  • The Board will consider the current financial reserves at each organisation and recommendations will focus on local priorities for each health service.
  • Existing and future donations and items will remain with each facility/location.
  • There will be a single budget.

Will we lose local hospitals, services and beds?

No.

  • The aim is to improve service quality, access to care, and patient outcomes.
  • Hospitals and facilities will remain in place in their current locations at Kyneton, Daylesford, Creswick, Clunes and Trentham. No local community will be disadvantaged.
  • There will be no reduction in services, staffing or funding as a result of the amalgamation. Bed numbers will be maintained.

Where did the idea of merging come from? Why are we talking? Who is asking for the amalgamation?

  • The Boards have recognised the need to strengthen health services and the voluntary amalgamation proposal is being explored as a way of addressing a range of challenges faced by rural hospitals.

Why do we need to change, what would happen if we did nothing?

  • Rural and regional hospitals face challenges such as: attracting and retaining staff; securing funding for new services; meeting changing patient needs/services; new legislative requirements; infrastructure; technology, etc.
  • By working together and combining our resources and skills, we would have a stronger health system to meet current and future community needs and ensure ongoing sustainability.

What will happen to residential aged care services? Will patients/clients be moved to other facilities?

  • Residential aged care facilities and services will remain in place. They will continue to provide care in their current locations.

What will happen to Commonwealth Home Service Package (CHSP) services?

  • Commonwealth Home Service Package (CHSP) services will continue and will be subject to Commonwealth Aged Care Policy changes.

Will policies/procedures/forms be the same/different?

  • Any changes would be progressively undertaken over the next two years if a joined entity was to proceed.
  • Policies and procedures will be reviewed. Some Policies and procedures will be across the organisation, others will need to be campus or service, specific.
  • Forms will be reviewed.

When will the decision be made?

  • The two Boards have formally endorsed the proposal.   
  • The proposal requires approval from the Government.
  • If a decision is made to amalgamate, any changes would take place progressively over the next two years.

Who makes the final decision?

  • The Minister for Health.

What happens if it doesn’t go ahead?

  • There will be no change.

STAFF

What are the impacts on staff?

  • Staff are valued members of the organisation and community. Existing staff will all be part of the new entity.
  • There will be no reduction in staff.
  • There will be opportunities for career development.
  • Staff will remain in their current location and may have the opportunity to work in other locations – only if they choose.
  • Staff entitlements will remain in place.

What happens to DONs?

  • There will be no change to the DONs roles. 

Will there be changes to employment/conditions/entitlements?

  • No, entitlements will not change

Will there be a loss of jobs?

  • No

Will pay rates change?  

  • No. Pay will be in accordance with current conditions/entitlements/awards.

Will staff be working at all establishments or at a different hospital? Will staff have to relocate to a different office? Where will departments work from? Will they be centralised? Where is head office? Will staff have to travel to work in different locations?

  • There will be no head office. All locations are treated equally.
  • Staff and services will remain in place in their current locations at Clunes, Creswick, Kyneton, Daylesford and Trentham.
  • Staff may have the opportunity to work in other locations – only if they choose.
  • New staff would be appointed to work at any campus if they chose.

Will staff and the community be consulted?

  • Staff and community engagement included a total of 11 consultation sessions held in five locations – Kyneton, Daylesford, Trentham, Clunes and Creswick. A survey received 71 responses. Five letters and submissions were received. Advertising was undertaken and letters were sent to local stakeholder organisations to invite participation. Information was posted on the Hepburn Health Service and Kyneton District Health websites as well as the Facebook pages, reaching over 4800 people with 385 post clicks.
  • Communication and consultation with staff and the community will be ongoing throughout the process through meetings, newsletters, letters, websites, email, facebook, and media. 

Will we be changing uniform?

  • Uniforms will not be changing in the short-term. If the organisations combine and naming/branding changes, it will be two years before any changes will be undertaken. Any changes to uniforms would be undertaken after that time and as they run out of stock.

Will there be shared services between the two organisations (e.g. finance, people and culture)?

  • Shared services are already in place and will be strengthened further.
  • Most staff and services will remain in their current locations/roles. There are a few management roles that may have spots at several locations.
  • There will be opportunities for career development if people choose.

Are the Unions kept informed?

  • Unions are being kept informed on the proposal.
  • There will be no loss of services, staffing/jobs and funding. Conditions will remain in place.

How will it work with other Shires, across borders and Loddon/Grampians Region? What does that mean?

Are we still going to be with Grampians or Loddon Mallee (e.g. education, purchasing etc, CRA / Oracle IT requirements)?

  • A due diligence process has been undertaken. Relationships will continue. Working across several Shires happens in quite a few locations already both in the Loddon Mallee and elsewhere.

Will there be a Rainbow Tick at Kyneton?

  • That is likely if an amalgamation proceeds.

Will there be a single access point? How between 5 campuses?

  • It is important to retain services in each location. This would need to be considered if a joined entity proceeds.

How can I find out more information?

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