EGHS staff provide outstanding care to community

At the 26th East Grampians Health Service annual general meeting on Tuesday, Board Chair Nancy Panter said that the health service had to again deal with the impact of the pandemic over the past 12 months, and thanked staff who have continued to provide outstanding care to patients, residents and consumers in trying times.

The EGHS annual general meeting was again held via zoom webinar, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Ms Panter said the annual general meeting is an important date on the Board’s calendar as it gave the Board the chance to publicly thank staff, volunteers, visiting medical officers and community for their support and efforts over the year.

“It’s also a night of celebration as we report on another successful year and present to you some of our organisational highlights and significant events,” Ms Panter said.

“The pandemic has brought out the best in our staff, displaying commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community by finding innovative solutions to challenges and looking out for each other.  We’ve also experienced wonderful displays of community generosity and kindness to our staff and residents.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Board members for their support over the last 12 months.  Their experience is broad and we appreciate their input into the strategic direction of our organisation.”

Ms Panter said the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan was the Board’s key strategic document.  The three Strategic Goals, Better Health, Better Access and Better Care, address the challenges faced by the health service and were based on the priorities detailed in the Victorian Government strategy:  Health 2040 Advancing Health, Access and Care.

“The Strategic Plan Implementation Framework ensures our Strategic Plan remains dynamic, meaningful and achievable with defined and measurable actions for our staff and the Board,” Ms Panter said.

Despite the uncertain times, Ms Panter said East Grampians Health Service had been busy with capital development projects.

“The redevelopment of our second theatre, medical imaging and pathology departments, second lift and relocation of the palliative care area has been made possible with State Government funding of $8.6 million,” she said.

“Each area is being upgraded and enhanced, bringing them up to first class standards where we can deliver safe quality care.”

The EGHS Board understands that one of the biggest challenges the health service faces is a sustainable workforce that is knowledgeable, flexible and qualified to accommodate the health needs of our diverse community now, and into the future.

“We’re confident that East Grampians Health Service will continue to provide a comprehensive health service that will focus on the needs of our community,” Ms Panter said.

“Our education programs are equipping the next generation of health professionals with skills which help ensure we can continue to deliver a first rate rural health service. These achievements have been gained through participation and collaboration with other health partners, all tiers of government, tertiary institutions and, of course our community.

“We look forward with interest to the next challenging year.”

Ms Panter said the Board was committed to ensuring the health service was providing safe services to the community.

In the past year East Grampians Health Service has made preparations for re-accreditation in 70 Lowe Street and Willaura Healthcare and is awaiting the visits from Assessors from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which have been delayed by COVID.

Ms Panter said in providing the very best care to consumers the Board was supported by volunteers, auxiliary members and financial donors.

“Without them, we as a health service could not provide some of the additional facilities for our patients and residents.

“Our 150 volunteers, five auxiliaries and many external service groups make a significant contribution to help us achieve our goals.  The contribution by so many is greatly appreciated.

“We look forward to welcoming auxiliaries and volunteers back into the service in 2022.”

Ms Panter said it had been another challenging year.

“As much as we want to be optimistic, we have no doubt that COVID-19 will be amongst us for some time to come,” she said.

“Our community and our staff have been outstanding in their approach to managing these tough times. We want to encourage our consumers of care to reach out to us, to continue accessing health care through keeping appointments or videoconferencing. We will continue to keep you informed of important issues, as we receive advice from the Department of Health.

“To all our staff, you approached this year with energy, took on additional responsibilities, helped when needed and supported each other.

“Thank you for your dedication to the health service and thank you also to our community for your support.”

Pictured: East Grampians Health Service Board Chair Nancy Panter