The likes of the inpatient increase – acute bed activity is up 489 bed days in the first three months of this year, compared to the same time last year – has never been seen before. Nor has the demand for the additional surgical services which has resulted in the hospital’s operating theatre now running at full capacity: 9.5 hours on weekdays plus the occasional Saturday, as well. For the 12 months of 2016, a total 653 operations were performed. In the first four months of this year that figure was already 722.
Additional to general surgery, the hospital is now providing orthopaedic, plastics and reconstructive, ear/nose/throat, gynaecology/urogynaecology and endoscopy surgical services. Not only are 100s of local people no longer having to travel to hospitals much further away, the economic spinoff is also tangible. The additional 15 surgeons/specialists, six specialist anaesthetists and six theatre nurses (2.4 FTE) SWH is now employing are all spending money in the town.
Describing the growth as phenomenal, SWH Service Development director Jamie Brennan says it goes against the trend currently being seen at other Victorian hospitals of a similar size.
‘This increase in activity is a huge vote of confidence for the services we’re providing in Camperdown and for our 179 staff working there. It secures the future of the Camperdown Hospital as the leading provider of high quality medical and surgical services within the Corangamite Shire,’ Jamie says.
‘To have another 15 quality surgeons and another six quality theatre nurses working in Camperdown is an exceptional result made possible by South West Healthcare investing more than $1m to purchase the latest and most up-to-date surgical equipment available. This means people living in and around Camperdown now have access to a wide range of exceptionally high-quality surgical specialities that they would normally have to travel to a large city for.’
Jamie says none of this would be possible without the support and dedication of the hospital’s committed theatre staff and local GPs who’ve embraced the additional work with positivity and enthusiasm. He also cites campus manager Janine Dureau-Finn and elective surgery coordinator Melissa Coffey as having been instrumental in establishing the new surgical services.
SWH has also worked just as hard to develop and/or establish other enviable services at our Camperdown Hospital:
Meantime Merindah Lodge’s sector-leading implementation of the Montessori model of care - moving the facility away from a regimented, institutionalised model of care to one where the residents have a say and increased choice in everything they do – has been recognised by both the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Commonwealth’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency as one of the very few facilities to have implemented a true resident-centred model of care. On top of this, the 36-bed aged care facility recently scored remarkable results during its accreditation. It obtained accreditation status for the next three years by exceeding every one of the quality of care standards across all 44 aged care indicators.
On the information technology front, meanwhile, the hospital went live in October with electronic clinical notes and observations within the organisation’s Electronic Health Record. Already using the electronic functional assessment tools and care plan, it’s now the pilot site for additional functionality.
The pride in the success of these staff-led innovations has, in turn, led to a powerful wave of positive cultural change. Results from the most recent VPSC-run People Matter survey demonstrate our Camperdown Hospital to be one of the highest-scoring SWH departments across the majority of key employee metrics measured, including staff engagement and job satisfaction. Camperdown, compared to other SWH campuses, had previously always been one of the lowest-scoring departments in these areas.