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Centre for Community Health

Better understanding community healthcare experiences

In 2018, Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) is partnering with Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership (CHPCP) to hear from a range of community members who have recently received care from the BDHC Allied Healthcare team.

Background

Primary Care Partnerships are funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to bring together local health and human service providers who work together in voluntary alliances to improve access to services and provide continuity of care for people in their community. PCP partner organisations focus on better coordination among services management of chronic disease management, integrated prevention and health promotion, and strong partnerships.

The team at the Central Highlands PCP are working to strengthen collaboration and integration across sectors to improve the health and well-being of people within the Central Highlands region.

Consumers play an essential role in the continuous improvement of health care. The Central Highlands PCP is committed to supporting local agencies undertake consumer and community engagement activities.

BDHC is a member of the Central Highlands PCP’s Alliance. The connection through this partnership led to the development of this project and the Central Highlands PCP has been providing their time, expertise and staffing resources to work closely with the team at BDHC on this important consumer engagement focused project.

The focus of the project is to hear from community members about their recent experiences of using the allied health care service at BDHC.

Project Update – October 2018

  • Participants were recruited over a 4-week period by a confidential and voluntary sign up process.
  • Allied health team members were asked to raise awareness of the project as part of their consultation with patients. The project was also advertised via the BDHC website and Facebook page and through flyers within the health service and the Ballan Community House etc.
  • During August and early September, confidential conversations were held one-on-one with Cathy Bushell from CHPCP either at Ballan Community House or over the phone.
  • As at 14 September 2018, all conversations have been completed and 17 people participated in the project.
  • A survey of questions was developed by the Project Steering Group and this was used to guide the conversations. The survey included open ended questions, with prompting questions if required, to allow people to discuss their individual experiences of the services they had received. A person’s medical/health condition or treatment were not discussed.
  • The conversations were very informal, often over a cup of tea or coffee. The conversations went for on average 45-60 minutes. Community members who participated were very open and honest about their experiences.
  • Participants came from Ballan and surrounding areas and were a mix of females and males.

Initial themes

  • The data collected through the conversation process is currently being written up and themes will be pulled out and included within the final report to BDHC. People’s names will not be provided within the report.
  • Consistent themes that came up through the conversations were that:
    • Participants value the services provided at BDHC
    • They appreciate the wide range of services available
    • All are happy with the quality of care provided by the Allied Health team
    • They feel that the team really care about their health and well being
    • They all value the professional, friendly and helpful service provided by the team on the reception desk.
    • They are generally happy with the length of time between making an appointment and seeing an Allied Health team member however some people highlighted that they are frustrated at the length of time between making an appointment and seeing a podiatrist.
  • Some constructive feedback was provided around access to the centre including the need to provide additional disabled parking spots close to the centre. There were also some suggestions around improving the facilities within the gym and the hydrotherapy pool.

Reporting

  • The data is currently being written up and analysed into themes.
  • Specific suggestions from participants will also be included in the report but will be de-identified.
  • A final report will be provided to BDHC by the end of October for their consideration.
  • The Project Steering Group will then consider the information and discuss next steps which may include developing an action plan to contribute to the organisation’s continuous improvement and quality agenda.

Pictured – Cathy Bushell (CHPCP) at Ballan Community House

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