Monday 06 August 2018



Bass Coast Health (BCH) continues to expand its services with two specialist Geriatricians caring for, and improving the lives of our local aging population.  The growing complement of specialists at BCH, available at both Wonthaggi and Phillip Island, means that Bass Coast residents now have localised access to specialised care on a regular basis.


Geriatricians, Dr Renee Kelsall and Dr Margot Lodge, who currently consult in the BCH Sub-Acute Ward Armitage, will now provide outpatient care to Bass Coast community members as well.  They perform comprehensive medical assessments covering all aspects of ageing, including the review of medications, complex medical issues, fitness to drive assessments, falls assessments, continence assessments, cognitive assessments, and support in managing all of those issues, and any other issues related to ageing, dementia and older persons’ wellbeing.


Based at the Alfred Hospital, Dr Lodge recently commenced monthly consultations from the Phillip Island Health Hub.  She says the obvious benefit of this service for older people living on Phillip Island is that they now have access to comprehensive specialist care closer to home.


“Geriatricians provide a range of specialist advice for older people in their local community which can save people valuable travel time.  Now that we’re available on the Island, it means that people no longer have to travel to Melbourne for specialist Geriatrician care.  This is a huge benefit”, Dr Lodge said.


“Older people with concerns such as multiple medical conditions, frailty, cognition problems, multiple medications, or those who are at high-risk of falls can have all of these issues reviewed and monitored by one specialist in one setting”, she explained.


Dr Lodge says this holistic care is especially well supported in a setting such as the Phillip Island Health Hub because other health professionals involved in a person’s care are co-located.


“It’s really valuable having other clinicians at the Health Hub because it makes it so much easier to consult with them about a patient to ensure we deliver a multidisciplinary service that meets our patients’ needs.  I’m really excited working with the team here.  Everyone has been so welcoming and they’re a great bunch of people”, says Dr Lodge.


Dr Renee Kelsall is based at Monash Medical Centre, having grown up in Meeniyan.  She is thrilled to be working at Wonthaggi Hospital and part of the Bass Coast healthcare community.  


“Although I’m now based in Melbourne, I continue to have strong ties with Gippsland and my family still live in the area.  I’m passionate about improving access to specialist healthcare in the country, and having grown up in this area, I know the strain of travelling extended periods to access specialised care. I’m also particularly interested in improving the care and quality of life of older people, who have contributed so much to our community”, she said.


For more information about accessing Geriatrician services or any other specialist services at BCH, please call 03 5951 2152 or go to a Doctor

Pictured above: Geriatricians Dr Renee Kelsall (left) and Dr Margot Lodge (right) are now consulting at Bass Coast Health’s Wonthaggi Hospital and Phillip Island Health Hub.