Thursday 02 November 2017


Bass Coast Health (BCH) recently launched its Hospital in the Home program and it’s fast becoming a winning formula with locals, particularly Phillip Islanders.


Local patients are now experiencing the benefits of the program, which means they are able to come home from hospital earlier and receive treatment in the comfort of their own home – all without having to deal with the stress, inconvenience and expense of long-distance travel in order to receive their treatment. The Hospital in the Home (HITH) service provides care to eligible patients requiring acute care that would ordinarily be given in hospital. Treatment is provided by BCH’s experienced HITH nurses in collaboration with local GP’s.


Cape Woolamai resident Grace Nally was recently admitted to the HITH program after being diagnosed with breast cancer in September following a routine mammogram. Three days after her admission to Monash Bentleigh for the removal of a lump in her breast, Grace was sent home under the HITH program. HITH nurses Karlie Hall and Ange Fraser visited Grace every day to measure the output from the drainage tube she was sent home with and check things such as her temperature, blood pressure, pain level, stitches and dressings. “Without them, I would have had to stay in hospital. My husband isn’t very medically-minded so it was not only very convenient, but also very comforting to have someone come and look after me at home”, says Grace. After seven days, staff were happy with her progress and Grace’s drainage tube was removed. Grace was thrilled with how the program worked for her, saying “The care I received was wonderful. The nurses were so caring and really took their time and were very professional. It was as good as, if not better, than having a doctor there and the fact that it was all covered by Medicare was a great relief and comfort to me”.



Like Grace, Phillip Island resident Deb McCann recently became a HITH patient following a cancer diagnosis is August. She returned home following the removal of a mass in her lung at the Valley Hospital, only to be re-admitted shortly after with a post-operative infection. Deb had to be treated with antibiotics through an Intra-Venous (IV) line to treat the infection. “During my second stay I was told about BCH’s HITH program. I’d never heard of it before”, she said.


Deb, who lives with her husband, was sent home as a HITH patient to have her IV antibiotics and wound dressings changed daily. “It was so nice to be able to stay at home to receive treatment. My husband had been driving back and forth to the Valley every day to see me, so it was a big relief for both of us that it saved him from travelling and I didn’t have to travel every day or stay in hospital to be treated”, she explained.


Deb is very impressed with how well the program worked for her, commenting, “The system worked perfectly and was hassle-free. The nurses were very attentive to my needs and very professional and competent“.


Her involvement in the program also highlighted other unexpected benefits. “From the minute I was diagnosed, we were swept up in the hectic roundabout of the medical world, where a lot of things are foreign and quite often fast-paced. This can often make you feel vulnerable and powerless. But the HITH nurses were great because they took the time to explain everything and answer our questions. I felt like this actually gave me some of my power back”.


Deb feels it’s important that Phillip Island people know about this service, and is eager for people to know more about it, saying, “This is such a brilliant service, particularly for the people of Phillip Island, because it gives rural families equality with their city counterparts”.


If you would like to know more, including whether you are eligible for Bass Coast Health’s Hospital in the Home program, please contact the HITH Coordinator on 0439 956 003 or visit HITH’s service page on BCH’s website at

Pictured (L-R): Francesca Reyerse supports husband Michael as he receives care from Hospital in the Home Nurse Ange Fraser.