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Wimmera Health Care Group (WHCG) has opened discussions with Ballarat Health Services (BHS) to uncover how the two organisations can partner better for their communities.

The WHCG Board of Management has formed the view that delivering safe and effective health services in Horsham and for the broader Wimmera region would be enhanced by an improved partnership with BHS. The Board sees substantial synergies in clinical governance, regulatory compliance, aged care compliance and accreditation, fiscal capability and clinical service delivery.

The services have been working very closely in planning and responding to COVID and this has shown the greater benefits of the health services working more closely together.

WHCG chair Marie Aitken said her board had determined a desire to explore the opportunity to partner more with its Grampians neighbour to improve the level of health services provided to the broader Wimmera region.

“As a Board, we are continuing to implement systems and services to ensure that our community members have access to high quality equitable health services,” Mrs Aitken said.

“Wimmera Health Care Group’s vision is to provide Wimmera wide, caring, quality health and wellbeing and our purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of our community,” she said.

“Closer partnerships should also help address challenges that the organisation has faced for over 10 years.

“Those challenges include attracting and retaining workforce, organisational capability and capacity plus developing and maintaining efficient services to ensure the biggest impact can be made with the resources available.”

Mrs Aitken said despite the Board of Management and team working tirelessly to implement a range of strategies over the last few years, the biggest improvements could be achieved by working more closely with others.

“The Board has determined it would like to explore better partnering opportunities with BHS and at the conclusion of the exploratory process, review a presentation for its consideration,” she said.

“We can then decide whether to continue with our current arrangements or further strengthen our partnership to a desired level that will ensure longevity of quality for our medical services.”

Mrs Aitken said an exploration for better partnering would include comprehensive consultation with team members from both health services as well as the broader communities.

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