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Hospital: (03) 5368 1100
GP Clinic: (03) 5366 7999 // Monday - Friday: 9.00am - 8.00pm // Saturday: 9.00am - 1.00pm

6 September 2019

This week I have reflected a lot on teamwork.

I was able to see and hear firsthand the times when our teams came together and worked through situations to ensure the best quality of care for our patients. These situations were stressful, sad and required a great deal of professionalism.

I also saw teams that supported each other, thanked each other but also were able to question “Could we have done this better?” and “What did we learn?”

In relatively small organisations such as ours, the key to ongoing success really is teamwork. Our roles are focussed on patients and residents. We wrap our services around them to ensure their health and wellbeing. This type of integrated care takes good communication and documentation.

Tracey, Bronwyn, Kym and I visited Illoura Aged Care in Wangaratta. It was beneficial to see another facility (although public) and some features of their service and support structures. They are well advanced with their work on the Aged Care Quality Standards and have since shared their policies and other helpful documents with us.

The Illoura team worked together across the facility and all of us came away with new ideas. Over the next few weeks we will share these with you.

We bid Matt Romania farewell as he takes on new challenges. Matt has been an amazing asset for Ballan District Health & Care and we wish him every success for his future endeavours.

Lorraine Odgers will also be leaving the organisation (next week), heading off into retirement and more time with family after ten years of service.
Congratulations to all of you who signed up for Steptember. Enjoy these sunny days and remember to keep up the steps!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

 

29 August 2019

Dear all,

Since I started in Ballan, I made it a priority to make sure I understand the business. This includes what we are funded to do, what services we provide and to whom. Understanding our business also means looking at what areas we are doing well and finding the opportunities for improvement.

Through this process, the Senior Leadership Team and I have discovered some issues – but also opportunities. Sometimes our documentation lets us down, sometimes it’s the processes – and sometimes it is communication.

To change these issues, means a change in us – in our practice, professionalism and drive to provide excellence in care. I know all of you come to work to do great work. We need to ensure that you are enabled to do this great work with solid support systems, processes and leadership in place.

Over the coming weeks, we will be reviewing policies, reviewing our activity data and reviewing our resources against targets. This process is about accountability for the services we provide the community. I invite all of you to be part of the discussion and part of the solution.

This week, I had the pleasure of seeing our ICARE values in action. I witnessed firsthand the caring and professional work of our staff – thank you to Michelle Connor, Melissa Fitzgerald and Maryanne Leith for the gentle, respectful and compassionate way you dealt with a recent death of a resident. It certainly was humbling. Thank you also to the team who contributed to a successful Dinner Dances for the residents.

Finally – as part of our ongoing communication on the new Aged Care Quality Standards, let’s have a close look at Standard 2; ongoing assessment and planning with consumers. It’s been great to hear all the care planning work that is happening by our aged care team with the residents and their families.

This important work is vital to Standard 2 and ensuring every resident is a partner in ongoing assessment and planning so they receive the care and services needed for their health and wellbeing.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

1 August 2019

Dear all,

Over the past two weeks, the Board and I have continued to meet with our key stakeholders at the Department of Health and Human Services.

I had a fantastic meeting with Djerriwarrh Health Service CEO Belinda Scott. We had a great discussion on synergies and opportunities that exist between the two organisations and the potential for partnerships to address the health needs of the Moorabool Shire.

We have also started conversations with Hepburn Health about ways we can partner to benefit the entire region. All of the regional and rural health services have their challenges so we all need to explore any partnership opportunities.

The search for additional GPs continues. Thank you to the team for all their hard work whilst this is occur. Big thanks to Adnan who continues to explore all options!

The Finance team are finalising the end of year reports and we will be meeting with all managers to discuss 2019/20120 budgets.

For those who couldn’t attend, we had a lovely afternoon tea for Shawn Lee who left Ballan District Health & Care to join DPV Health. In true Shawn style, he gave a beautiful farewell speech. In his speech, Shawn acknowledged the need for all of us to be comfortable with vulnerability whilst maintaining constant support for those around us. He also spoke about the Allied and Community Health team and the way they’ve grown and exemplify excellence in care.

With Shawn’s departure, I have revisited the organisational chart to ensure teams are clear on their reporting lines.

Lastly – over the next few months, we’ll be featured the new Aged Care Quality Standards across Ballan District Health & Care and other places in the community. This approach is to give staff and community members an opportunity to learn about each Standard. Standard 1 – Consumer Dignity and Choice – will be the focus for the next fortnight. Look out for the red posters next week!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

19 July 2019

Good luck to our registrars Min and Simone who are sitting their exams this week! Thank you to Rakhi and TJ for their hard work this week while our registrars have been away.

I also want to say a big congratulations to everyone working in our aged care! I attended a resident’s meeting yesterday and many of the residents wanted me to know how wonderful the staff are at Ballan District Health & Care. Please keep up the great work!

On aged care, you may have seen the posters being putting up about the new Aged Care Standards that came into effect on 1 July 2019. Over the next few weeks, we will focus on each of the standards to ensure we are all aware of our roles and responsibilities:

  1. Consumer dignity and choice
  2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  3. Personal care and clinical care
  4. Services and supports for daily living
  5. Organisation’s service environment
  6. Feedback and complaints
  7. Human resources
  8. Organisational governance

I’d also like to encourage you to keep up with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The last few hearings have focussed on key aspects of care – including wound management, medication, pain management and nutrition.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

12 July 2019

Dear all,

Happy NAIDOC Week 2019 celebrating the themes of Voice, Treaty and Truth – let’s work together for a shared future. These three themes also represent key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Ballan District Health & Care is committed to developing relationships of trust and respect with the Indigenous communities that we serve. We aim to develop an understanding of awareness of Indigenous culture throughout our health service. Matt, Shawn, Colleen, Merryn and myself attended a NAIDOC week celebration with some of our residents at the Ballan Library.

It was pleasing to have so many staff attend an all staff meeting this week. It is important we continue the conversation so that everyone has the opportunity to ask questions of the Executive team and myself.

  • We talked about how I’ve been having meeting with a number of stakeholders including Ballarat Health Services and Moorabool Shire Councils.
  • James reminded staff that group certificates will be available through MyGov for your tax return.
  • Shawn spoke to the business improvement strategies that the Executive are currently working on – including the independent living units that are currently for sale and the childcare centre.
  • We also agreed to review our admission and discharge processes to ensure multidisciplinary input and consideration of patient requirements.
  • Internal reviews have highlighted areas of the hospital that require a maintenance review. I again thank Dale, Carlos and Caroline for their work in this space.

I also want to remind staff of the national mandatory aged care indicators – pressure injuries, use of physical restraint, and unplanned weight loss. We’ll be working on these and the National Quality Standards for Aged Care over the coming months. It’s important that all staff familiarise themselves with these new standards.

Finally, it has been pleasing to welcome a number of new staff to the Ballan District Health & Care team, however sad to see Shawn departing.

Stay warm and stay well,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

 

8 July 2019

Last week I was fortunate enough to meet with a range of people who partner with Ballan District Health & Care. Many of these organisations have a shared goal of improving the health and wellbeing of our community.

Shawn and I met with the new Chief Executive Officer of Moorabool Shire Council and their General Manager of Community Development.

With the Moorabool Shire Council, we spoke about the needs of our community, opportunities for partnerships and shared events. We also discussed the roads around the hospital where we might be able to reduce speed, improve parking and ensure patient, resident and staff safety.

I also met with Mark and Ruth from The Plough, who have been a great support to the hospital over many years. We have agreed to postpone Love is in the Air to later in the year.

I want to share some thoughts on our core values. What does the word collaboration mean for the team working at Ballan District Health & Care?

I really like this definition by D’Amour (2005): “Collaboration is commonly defined through five underlying concepts: sharing, partnership, power, interdependency and process.”

The idea of sharing implies collective action oriented toward a common goal, such as improving the quality and safety of patient care.

The notion of partnership implies honest communication, mutual trust, respect and pursuing the common set of goals between health care professionals.

At the centre of all we do is the patient or resident. We know that collaboration improves communication and reduces care errors.

In an organisation of our size (last count 160 staff) we have the opportunity for exemplar collaboration. Interdisciplinary meetings discussing patient goals is one such example.

Ballan District Health & Care needs its partners to better service the community and we all need collaboration to improve care.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

28 June 2019

I’m pleased to let you all know that the Department of Health and Human Services has advised the Board of their continued financial support to Ballan District Health & Care. The Department’s generous and welcome support has been extended to October 2019.

In other updates this week, I undertook the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence training – ‘A Shared Understanding of Family Violence.’ I know Carina and others have done considerable work in this area and all staff should be aware of the Board and my commitment to supporting this vital initiative.

Family violence statistics are very confronting. For example, 1 in 4 female staff are likely to have experienced violence from a current or former partner. It is important we all complete family violence training. To allow you to improve your understanding of family violence, understanding the health impacts and ensure you all know your roles as health professionals. Sue and Ann will be advertising training sessions over the coming weeks.

Last week a number of team members relocated offices to improve working efficiencies at Ballan District Health & Care. These office moves included locating allied health staff closer to the clinic for improved patient access. An additional benefit to the move is now having clinical leaders closer to their teams. I want to thank Roni, Dale and Carlos for all their hard work and patience assisting with the office moves.

Finally, I want to wish all our financial colleagues “Happy New Financial Year” for Monday. Thank you for all your hard working preparing for year end.

 

Until next time,
Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

 

14 June 2019

What does the word integrity mean to you? Over the last three weeks since I began as CEO, I’ve been giving much thought to our ICARE values and what each looks like in action on a day-to-day basis. This definition of integrity resonated with me so I thought I would share it with you all:

“Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be.”

For us in healthcare, we know our work is never about shortcuts. We are privileged to work with community members when they’re at their most vulnerable. I encourage everyone to take some time to consider this value and think about “what I will do” and “what I won’t do”.

This week, we welcomed Adnan Hafeez as Practice Manager. He has certainly hit the ground running and I’m confident he is going to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Ballan District Health & Care.

Also this week, the Executive team met with the consultants who are undertaking the deep dive review of the health service. It was constructive to have challenging conversations about where we are now – but we were also able to speak with pride about the work being done.

The Executive team and I have also recommenced the work on our business improvement strategies (that have been presented at a previous staff meeting). Many of you have spoken to me about other opportunities to improve. This is great! I thank you and encourage you to continue to let me know your ideas.

Finally, we also had the Independent Living Units Annual General Meeting this week. Robert Eskdale represented the Board and after the usual formalities, we had an interesting discussion on a range of topics. I was privileged to hear about former jobs, family, life in the units and to share a cup of tea on a cold Thursday afternoon.

I’ve committed to this group that we will keep up the communication with them As well as offering for them to join in hospital activities. After all, they’re our neighbours – so let’s make sure they have opportunities to get involved at Ballan District Health & Care.

Until next time,
Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

7 June 2019

This week I continued to meet as many team and community members as possible. How fantastic to see the streetscape coloured with the amazing WinterKnits! I especially love the great work of our memory support residents on the field of poppies at the front of the Hospital. A big thank you goes to Colleen and our residents for their contribution to WinterKnits.

Speaking of great work, I had the pleasure of speaking with our Hospital Auxiliary yesterday. We all know the fantastic contribution they make to our Ballan District Health & Care. Their Mothers’ Day High Tea event made an impressive $1,674 profit. I know you will all support their next event, Blumes Fashion on Tuesday 18 June at the CFA rooms (10.30am start).

You are probably aware of the high demand on the General Practice at the moment (and over the last few weeks). Thank you to our wonderful GPs – Rakhi, Min, Simone, Faro, TJ, Afshan… who I had the pleasure of meeting this week. Thanks also to all the practice staff who have addressed the needs of our patients and at all times ensuring patient safety and well being. This speaks highly of our Integrity value.

In recruitment news, I’m so pleased we have recruited a new Practice Manger – Adnan Hafeez – who will start in his new role next week. I’ve asked Shawn and Adnan to make GP recruitment the number one priority.

As Sue mentioned in her email today, the current staff flu vaccination rate is at 95% which is fantastic. Please make sure you see Sue if you have been vaccinated elsewhere – and continue to encourage your friends, family and neighbours to have their flu vaccination.

I have continued to meet with the Department of Health and Human Services – these meetings have been very positive. We continue our deep dive review of every department and all facilities at BDHC. For example, some of you may have noticed the person undertaking the structural review last week. We hope to have more advice on this soon.

As we head into a long weekend, I encourage those of you not working to rest and stay safe. For those working across the long weekend, thank you!

 

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

30 May 2019

Between 27 May and 3 June each year, we celebrate National Reconciliation Week.

This week marks two major moments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 1) the 1967 referendum that brought Indigenous Australians into the Commonwealth, and 2) the Mabo decision that led to native title land rights.

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements – and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Ballan District Health & Care is committed to developing relationships of trust and respect with the Indigenous communities that we serve, and we aim to develop an understanding of awareness of culture throughout our health service.

As I meet more and more people here at BDHC, I’m reminded of the importance of shared histories and achievements. There is much pride in this organisation and the role BDHC plays to benefit the Ballan community.

On Tuesday, we celebrated another great team achievement; the successful accreditation of our GP Practice. Thank you to all who contributed to this outstanding outcome! It was great to see our ICARE values in action. Keep it up!

Lastly, next week is the start of Souper Tuesdays at our Op Shop. What a great idea for hot lunch and bringing the community together on these cold days. I hope to see you over there!

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care

22 May 2019

Thank you all for the warm welcome as I start in the CEO role. It was wonderful to meet so many of you at the Monday meeting. I look forward to eventually meeting all staff so please stop me in the corridor or pop in to my office if you’d like to chat. Thank you to Shawn for all his work as CEO. Thanks also goes to the Executive and Leadership team for their support of Shawn and the substantial work that has happened over the last nine months.

The next phase of review has now started and the Board Chair and I have started more detailed conversations with the Department of Health and Human Services about the role of BDHC in the provision of health care to our local community. I’ll keep you posted with any major updates. I’m going to pen these updates regularly – which will also be made public for the community – after all, we are in this together. Speaking of engaging with the community, if you know someone who hasn’t had their flu shot yet, please remind them to book an appointment as soon as possible… as we know, the flu can be deadly and it’s important we are all vaccinated.

Last but not least, happy National Volunteer Week! This week, we celebrate the hard-working volunteers at BDHC. Of course we appreciate them every week but if you see a volunteer around, be sure to pass on your thanks for their dedication to this healthcare service. They truly make a difference. We are always in need of more volunteers, so if you know anyone, please let Barbara know on Thursday.

Until next time,

Rowena Clift
Chief Executive Officer
Ballan District Health & Care