11 March 2021
The report on the proposed voluntary amalgamation of Western Health and Djerriwarrh Health Services has been received by the Western Health Board and Djerriwarrh Health Services Administrator. Both support the report’s recommendation to proceed with a voluntary amalgamation based on clear community benefits from such a move, particularly given the State Government’s 2019 announcement that a new Melton Hospital would be operated by Western Health. Following these decisions, the recommendation for amalgamation has been sent to the Secretary of the Department of Health in line with the process requirements for consideration. While the Department make its reviews, both health services have prepared the way for a joint transition team to be put in place to drive change in the event the Minister for Health approves the voluntary amalgamation. The immediate priority is certainty and confidence for staff and communities, and – as always – ensuring high quality care. Staff and community engagement has helped to define clear commitments should a voluntary amalgamation proceed:
Bacchus Marsh and Melton Regional Hospital will continue to operate as a community-based hospital
Grant Lodge residential aged care at Bacchus Marsh will be retained
There will be no reductions in overall health staffing numbers, and no losses to frontline clinical staff as a consequence of amalgamation
Local fundraising will continue to be directed to local health and care services
There will be ongoing community participation and engagement with local service planning
Clients and patients will continue to have choice as to where they access care.