TDHS partners for better health outcomes

Theatre services at Timboon and District Healthcare Service will transfer to Terang & Mortlake Health Service from 8 September 2023

Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) will partner with Terang and Mortlake Health Service (TMHS) to ensure the ongoing provision and viability of theatre services in the local district and to support the COVID Catch Up Plan.

As part of the partnership, TMHS will increase its theatre services to ensure the surgical needs of the Timboon and district community continue to be met locally, now and into the future.

TDHS Board chair Frank Carlus said the decision to transfer theatre services to Terang followed extensive reviews and consideration of all issues including the commitment to provide high-quality, sustainable services to the community.

“We didn’t make this decision lightly, but we had to make this important decision to ensure the people in our care receive the highest quality of care,” he said.

TDHS chief executive officer Gary Castledine said the decision would allow TDHS to continue to support the community to access theatre services and to invest in more community and allied health services.

“This aligns with our vision to work collaboratively for a healthy community well into the future. This long-term, sustainable change to our service offering supports our commitment, ensuring that our local community gets the safe, high-quality care they need, when they need it,” he said.

“We are currently performing around six low complexity day-stay theatre procedures each fortnight, such as colonoscopies and gastroscopies.

“From 8 September, these procedures will be performed at Terang, which will increase the number of days the TMHS theatre operates enabling it to take on Timboon’s procedures and up to an additional 60 procedures each year benefiting communities across the region.”

The transition will also benefit the region by increasing Timboon’s capacity to accept sub-acute patients meaning more people can access the right level of care, closer to home.

Both health services have been supporting Victoria’s COVID Catch Up Plan, which will continue at TMHS.

Mr Castledine said pre-booked patients would be contacted directly and advised of the changes, with community transport available for patients between TDHS and TMHS.

He said community members would continue to access pre-procedure appointments in Timboon and that his team remained committed to delivering safe, high-quality care.

Mr Castledine said the move of theatre services to Terang would allow TDHS to focus further on keeping the community well by strengthening access to allied health professions, enhancing access to GP services, exploring an expansion of radiology services and supporting increased screening to reduce chronic disease in the community.

The change impacts a small number of TDHS staff, whom will be engaged in a consultation process to identify other employment opportunities, including working at TMHS and TDHS.

TMHS chief executive officer Julia Ogdin said the organisation was looking forward to supporting patients from Timboon and district.

“As a local health service, we understand the needs of the broader community and have the infrastructure, staff and capacity to support patients from Timboon and the surrounding areas,” she said.

TDHS Board chair Frank Carlus concluded: “TDHS is looking forward to partnering with TMHS to continue working closely together for a healthy community.”

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