At our meeting in December, updates about activities were provided by the CEO (Kate Gillan), and the Committee Chair (Joy Humphreys, Board Director), and we had a presentation from Otway Health Nurse Practitioner, Brad Pickering.
We discussed and showcased a new form of communication for our community – a quarterly newsletter, which will be distributed through the Otway community region in both hard copy and electronic format. The newsletter is an opportunity to provide greater detail about Otway Health news, activities, events and health and well-being information in addition to current publications and media such as the Apollo Bay News Sheet, Otway Light, and The Otway Health Check on 3ABR Apollo Bay Radio.
Nurse Practitioner, Brad Pickering joined us and described his role, the development of the Nurse Practitioner model and the progress he has seen in nurse education at Otway Health. Brad and his team are preparing for the summer season and are reviewing procedures and protocols. Brad highlighted how people’s level of literacy in the health care system affected where they might present for service, i.e. to GP or to Urgent Care. The need for a shift in perception and community education was discussed as a way to increase understanding of these services. A good partnership with the GP Clinic is essential to manage cross referrals. Following Brad’s presentation, it was suggested that a services directory would be a good opportunity to improve people’s understanding of their health services, namely who to contact in which situation.
Joy and Kate talked about the recent staff survey which had a high response rate and showed that, although there is work to be done, good progress had been made towards staff satisfaction. The Staff Consultative Committee (SCC) are becoming very well coordinated and the People and Culture Committee (PCC) will now meet 6-monthly or as required. The recommendations of the Hicks review will feed into the Cultural Strengthening Program. This is a fluid program and will run over the next 18-24 months, with the People Matter survey as one indicator of results. The program will include a leadership training program and work on building staff confidence and capability, embedding Otway Health values at all levels of the organisation. The committee showed support for the current mandatory training and that the CEO was so personally involved in it.
Joy summarised the Board Chair’s report from the recent Board meeting. There have been interviews for new Board members and they have put a shortlist forward to DHHS for approval. The Capital Works committee is looking at acquiring grants to fund more appropriate infrastructure to support the planned integrated primary care service. This will include improvement of the main Otway Health site and a rethink of the properties currently owned by Otway Health and residences used for staff accommodation. Accommodation was highlighted as having an important role in the recruitment of good staff to the area.
The OHCAC is interviewing 4 new candidates on 18th December and Joy, Sarah, Di and Anne will be on the interview panel.
The meeting concluded with the committee expressing support for the communications work Sarah has done since being in the role.