At our meeting in April, discussions took place regarding the Integration Diligence Review, Otway Health’s ownership of Apollo Bay General Practice, our response to a significant power outage, and Clinical Nurse Manager, Alison Rodda dropped in to discuss Advanced Care Directives.

A Integration Diligence Review has been undertaken to understand how Otway Health and Lorne Community Hospital can work together for better service delivery. A working party of the two Boards has met to review services currently available, any gaps in service, and explore areas for integration of services. There are opportunities to provide better support to several areas across both sites including Community and General Practice Services.  Integration will help sustain our health service by attracting staff, sharing staff training and potential staff development through secondment as well as a long term, sustainable model for primary care.

From a Board perspective, Otway Health would hope to maintain Kate as joint CEO, and potentially, there would be one Board.  The composition of a future Board, would be extremely important to ensure each community’s needs are well represented. The continuance of the OHCAC, which is a strong representative group will enable community concerns to be heard and provide advice to the Board. There will be opportunities for staff and the community to take part in consultation, by way of further Tea Talks.

Otway Health is very excited that we now have full ownership of Apollo Bay General Practice. This increases our opportunities to recruit short and long term GP’s to the clinic. We continue to work towards having a safe, sustainable and affordable Urgent Care Model. Otway Health’s Urgent Care Unit will continue with the Nurse Practitioner model in conjunction with the GP’s on the weekends, and access to Telehealth during the week, if required.

Discussions took place regarding Otway Health’s Master Plan. Otway Health is ageing and we are trying to plan for the future – this requires a master plan, and we are reviewing the most recent master plan to ensure it fits our present and future needs.

The recent power outage on 28 February, caused damage to our 3 phase power. This challenge required Otway Health to rely on generator power overnight, a replacement switch has been ordered and a temporary fix to the switch enables us to continue to operate. It was an unplanned but useful exercise to test our Critical Hospital Operation Contingencies (CHOC) Plan.

Anne Rout provided an overview on the current challenges that are being faced by local Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) clients.  Anne advised that she has written to DVA to find out the circumstances of the current provider who have recently withdrawn their services and also to the State President of The RSL and the local RSL.  Letters to Sarah Henderson and the Minister will be sent soon if suitable responses are not received.

Clinical Nurse Manager, Alison Rodda spoke about the implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, VIC 2017, Palliative Care and Advanced Care Planning (ACP). ACP is an important document that lays out your end of life wishes; it allows the staff and medical officers to know the treatments, or non-treatments, to allow you to die as you wish. It is an important, if at times difficult conversation that needs to be had with parents/partners/children so that at a time when care is needed, all those involved in the decision making are ‘on the same page’.  Documentation should be accessible at all times – this discussion is to be raised at a future OHCAC meeting to ‘brainstorm’ the best way to ensure this.

Further information can be found at the following links:


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