The Andrews Labor Government will undertake a comprehensive review of community health services on the Bellarine Peninsula, including the health needs of the community and who should provide these services, to ensure locals are able to access the care and treatment they need.
This is in response to the findings of an independent report into Bellarine Community Health, which found there has been a significant lack of community engagement by the organisation.
Bellarine Community Health is a public company registered with the Department of Health and Human Services as a community health centre. It provides community based primary health and aged community care services.
The Labor Government made an election commitment to undertake a review of Bellarine Community Health following concerns raised by the community, in particular about its divestment of residential aged care service, Ann Nichol House.
The community felt that the decision had been made without consultation, and without consideration of the community’s future needs.
This has been confirmed by the independent report released today, which found that Bellarine Community Health has not undertaken comprehensive, proactive or broad community engagement about key changes in its services or strategic direction.
The Government expects Bellarine Community Health to actively address each of the areas for improvement identified by the report. This includes the development of a comprehensive community engagement strategy to ensure a structured and accountable framework for Bellarine Community Health.
Bellarine Community Health will also be required as part of its Service Level Agreement with the Department to establish a Community Advisory Group which will facilitate participation by community members in the decision making and strategic planning of the organisation.
Bellarine Community Health will be monitored and held accountable for how it engages with the local community moving forward in line with its Service Level Agreement.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Community health services need to put their communities first, and that means engaging and consulting with them to make sure their needs are being met.”
“We will undertake a full review of the community health services and needs of the Bellarine Peninsula, to ensure the community can access the care and treatment it needs and deserves.”
Quotes attributable to the Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“This report confirms what locals have been saying for the last two years. There has been a serious failure on the part of Bellarine Community Health.”
“Bellarine Community Health has a lot of work to do to rebuild community confidence.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021