Friday 15 March 2019


Patients and the community are already benefiting from a new cooperative arrangement between three key local health services.


The Boards of Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS), Bass Coast Health (BCH), and South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) recently came together at an inaugural joint Board meeting at Leongatha.  The Boards reviewed the work undertaken over the past two years to achieve the goals of the sub-regional Clinical Services Plan, and discussed the plan for the future growth of services.


The partnership will provide the community with greater access to a wider range of high quality and safe health care services in the local area, reducing the need to travel outside the region for a treatment.


The Clinical Services Plan, which was developed two years ago, provides a roadmap to align and coordinate the three health services, with the specific aim of creating a safer and expanded health care system across the Bass Coast and South Gippsland sub-region. This will benefit patients from all communities.


This health service collaboration, now known as the South Eastern Partnership, was praised by Andrew Crow, Director of Rural Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.  Mr Crow attended the Board meeting and commended the efforts of the three health services, noting they are leading Victoria with some of their partnership work. He praised the partnership for providing a strong focus on the safety and quality of local health care, and gave the Department’s full support to increase the capacity and capability of the health services to collectively meet the health needs of the sub-region.


“We are very keen to see that your rural community is served by their local health services – too many people in the sub-region currently travel out of the area to receive their care,” Mr Crow said. “We are very committed to working with the three health services to treat more people locally, and do that safely. Strengthening health services will mean patients can receive more care locally, rather than having to drive outside the area, as they have previously had to do.”


The Government has already showed support by committing to a new community hospital at Phillip Island and a $115m expanded Wonthaggi Hospital. The three health services have also received funding to enable the continuation of their important partnership work.


The three Board Chairs – Sue Pilkington (SGH), Alex Aeschlimann (GSHS) and Don Paproth (BCH) praised the work of the staff, consumer representatives, General Practitioners, other key agencies such as the GP practices, the Primary Health Network and the CEOs in progressing this work. 


 “We continue to work collaboratively to deliver this opportunity to build the health services that benefit all of our communities now and into the future, providing all of us with greater access to a wider range of high quality and safe health care services in our local area,” said Sue Pilkington, Chair of the joint Board Governance committee overseeing the work.


Achievements thus far include a strong Allied Health workforce plan with communities of practice developed; a shared sub-regional Maternity capability framework; an integrated transport service across the sub-region; agreed action plans for the next three years to grow surgical, medical, obstetric and primary care services; the development of an integrated prevention partnership focussing on areas such as reducing obesity and smoking and many other initiatives.


The three CEO’s agreed that the collaboration is providing an exciting way forward for the community. Chris Trotman (SGH), Mark Johnson (GSHS) and Jan Child (BCH) all noted that, “Working together is paying off - we now have clinicians sharing their ideas and thoughts, working together on important growth initiatives, and we are now sharing resources.  This collaboration will only serve to improve what we do for our community.”


For further information about this work, please contact the Sub-Regional Partnership Manager – Kerryn Griffiths at

Pictured (Left, L-R): BCH CEO Jan Child, Rural Director DHHS Andrew Crowe, Chair SGH Sue Pilkington, CEO GSHS Mark Johnson, Sub-Regional Partnerships Facilitator Kerryn Griffiths, SGH CEO Chris Trotman and BCH Board Chair Don Paproth.

Pictured (Right): Department of Health and Human Services Director of Rural Health Andrew Crowe recently presented to the Boards of local health services about planning future sub-regional health services.