5 June 2024

Calvary Riverina Hospital wants your input into the direction of care into the future

| Chris Roe
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Calvary Riverina Hospital general manager Jacqueline Hilton and former nurse Judy Rands want your feedback.

Calvary Riverina Hospital general manager Jacqueline Hilton and former nurse Judy Rands want your feedback. Photo: Chris Roe.

Calvary Riverina Hospital is looking towards the future and wants community feedback to help plan the next chapter in services at the hospital.

A new Clinical Services Plan (CSP) will be drafted to account for changes in population, demographics and technology.

General manager Jacqueline Hilton said they would consult with stakeholders and were encouraging former patients, community groups and members of the public to contribute via an online survey.

“We want to keep up to date with what’s happening in the future of healthcare services in the Riverina and make sure that Calvary is delivering the services that the community needs,” she said.

“It’s really important that we do keep the community engaged in our [CSP] planning … so there are a number of opportunities for them to participate in the consultation, with face-to-face sessions that are held on site at Calvary Riverina as well as the community survey.

“By responding to this survey, you will help us understand which services are important to you, so we can continue to provide genuine choice and exceptional healthcare to the Riverina community.

“It will be used to inform future planning including workforce attraction and retention, as well as infrastructure builds that we may need to do in the future.”

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Workforce shortages in rural and remote areas and a need for technology upgrades are among some of the areas that will be addressed.

“There’s a huge workforce issue as we know across the globe, but we’re looking at specific things that we can do to attract and retain workforce nurses from our medical offices and allied health, to keep them locally to be able to provide the services that our community needs,” Ms Hilton said.

“I would really like to see infrastructure changes that will really enhance the digital technology that’s available in the operating theatre specifically, whether that’s robotics or interactive technology for advanced surgical techniques.”

You can have your say in Calvary Riverina Hospital's future in person or online.

You can have your say in Calvary Riverina Hospital’s future in person or online. Photo: Chris Roe.

Consumer representative Judy Rands urged locals to get involved and to help shape the future direction of the hospital.

As a former nurse with more than three decades’ experience as both a health worker at Calvary and a patient, she said the hospital has grown with the community.

“We have developed really state-of-the-art operating theatres; we have an intensive care unit; we have a rehabilitation unit, upgraded maternity services, a special care nursery, so there have been big, big changes,” she said.

“I think we’re very well serviced in the Riverina and I think that now it’s about bricks and mortar and getting things upgraded with the latest technology.”

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With increasing population growth over the past decade and plans to expand the city and its services, Ms Hilton said health care is already evolving.

“Certainly the population is getting older as we know and people aren’t staying in hospitals like they used to many years ago,” she said.

“It’s getting people back into their homes and providing community services in their homes … so we’re looking at creating those community care interactions that we can keep people safe.”

Ms Hilton added that Calvary Riverina was very much a part of a health services network.

“We’re very focused on partnering with our Wagga Base colleagues; we’re part of the Riverina community and we’ve formed a really strong partnership to make sure that we both deliver the health services that the community needs.”

The community survey will remain open until 5 pm, Tuesday 18 June.

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