04 Jul Community committee a critical cog in TDHS accountability
Community members continue to play a critical role in making sure Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) remains connected to the community and provides relevant care.
The TDHS Consumer Participation Committee (CPC) provides feedback and strategic advice from a consumer, carer and community perspective. This ensures TDHS hears directly from, and works in partnership with, the community it serves.
Previously known as the Community Advisory Committee, the members convene every second month. The group consists of community representatives, TDHS’s chief executive officer and a Board representative.
At the June meeting the committee welcomed two new student members in Zoe Neal and Aimee Hose. Zoe and Aimee join current members John Wilson, Heather Bullen, Ray Smith, Terry O’Connor, Gabby Theologus and committee chairperson, Donna Ellis.
Acting CEO Rebecca Van Wollingen praised the CPC members who volunteer their time to work with the organisation to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of the wider community.
She said the committee’s newest members would bring a new perspective to the group and the health service.
“The CPC is an opportunity for TDHS to receive advice on current activities, future strategies and hear feedback from the community,” she said.
“At the June meeting members expressed concerns about the turnover rate of senior staff.”
Ms Van Wollingen said the members sought some answers about the apparent trend over the last few years.
“This is a great example of the integral role the CPC plays for our organisation. The members are very much our eyes and ears on the ground. We take it seriously and hear these concerns,” she said
“We are aware that a number of staff in senior management positions have left our organisation in recent years. It highlights the unique challenges facing rural employers and we reassured the CPC members that this is not a systemic trend but a series of unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances.
“The Board is beginning the search for a new CEO, they are taking the process seriously and giving it the effort and time it deserves.”
Recruitment will begin in September with the hope to appoint a permanent CEO by the end of the year.
Ms Van Wollingen said TDHS had put a management plan in place in the short term, which included appropriate support for current staff.
“We are focused on building a resilient, consistent and highly skilled senior management team,” she said.
“I’d like to thank the CPC and all the TDHS volunteers for their dedication to the health service and their invaluable efforts, feedback and time.
“We look forward to working together to continue to build the best health service and health future for our communities.”