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South Gippsland Hospital a finalist in State Health Awards

•  With fingers crossed, South Gippsland Hospital staff celebrate the Hospital’s selection as one of three finalists in the Premier’s (Small) Health Service of the Year category of the
2022 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

SOUTH Gippsland Hospital (SGH) in Foster is elated to be a finalist in the 2022 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

SGH chief executive officer Paul Greenhalgh said notification that SGH is one of three finalists in the Premier’s (Small) Health Service of the Year category came through on Tuesday August 23, 2022.

The other two finalists for Small Health Service are Myrtleford-based Alpine Health, and the Queen Elizabeth Centre.

“SGH was a finalist in the same section of the State’s Healthcare Awards in 2009, and our entry for the 2022 Awards was lodged in May,” Mr Greenhalgh said.

“The winners of the 16th Victorian Public Healthcare Awards will be announced on Thursday 13 October during a gala hybrid in-person and virtual presentation ceremony at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne,” he said. 

“A contingent of the SGH team will be attending to see who is judged the best of the best!”

A State Health Department spokesperson thanked all of the health services that entered the 2022 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

“The entries we received show that our public healthcare sector, workers and volunteers continue to innovate and deliver exceptional care led with compassion,” they said.

“The annual awards were paused in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The public healthcare sector continues to face pressure, but as Victoria learns to live with COVID-19, it is important we reflect on and recognise the sector’s incredible work though the challenges of the past year,” the spokesperson said.

“The Victorian Public Healthcare Awards present an opportunity for Victoria to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our healthcare workers and public health services – and we’re excited to be bringing the awards back in 2022.”

During the last few months, a panel of expert judges has poured over 196 entries across 20 categories to determine the finalists in this year’s Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

Based on the panel’s recommendations, the actual winners of each award will be decided by the State’s Ministers for Health and Ambulance Services, for Disability, for Ageing and Carers, and for Mental Health, together with the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health Secretary. 

In an email sent to staff and volunteers, Mr Greenhalgh congratulated the SGH team.

“Thanks for being the reason we have made the final,” he wrote.

“Receiving news that our entry has made the final is success in itself and is recognition of your teamwork, care, and hard work. Being a finalist is an amazing achievement, and something to be proud of … well done!”        

The SGH submission to this year’s Victorian Public Healthcare Awards focused on many aspects of performance over the in-scope period, leading up to March 2022. 

“While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, the submission highlighted several key achievements during this time,” Mr Greenhalgh said.

“These include our People Matter (Staff) Survey results being consistently higher than peer and State benchmarks, and our Victorian Health Experience Survey results demonstrating consumer recognition of consistently high quality care.

“SGH collaborating with Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) to reduce Elective Surgery wait lists, and we are very pleased to note that LRH is also a finalist in this year’s Healthcare Awards, in the Premier’s (Medium) Health Service of the Year section,” he said.

“We introduced our Banksia Centre, Community and Home-Based Respite Care services and have been proud to see how well they have grown, as has the number of Home Care Packages SGH offers.

“We also instigated a Home-Based exercise program, which has been welcomed by many members of the local community.

“The quality of SGH’s Asset Management program was recognised by the Victorian Health Building Authority, which was a great source of pride to everyone involved,” Mr Greenhalgh said.

“Another highlight during the judging period was delivering a focused capital investment and equipment upgrade program valued at about $760,000 to support safe, sustainable, efficient and innovative health services,” he said.

“SGH also collaborated with our healthcare partners to ensure a successful COVID-19 response to meet local, subregional and regional needs, and we promoted vaccination to staff and the community online via the ‘I do it because’ campaign.

“SGH’s staff attended to 40 per cent more presentations through our Urgent Care Centre during the period, too.

“We are also very fortunate to have such a skilled, supportive and visionary Board of Directors who work so well with the SGH Executive Management team,” Mr Greenhalgh said.

“On the back of our recent accreditation results, where we received a perfect score card, this news is further endorsement that we are on the right track. 

“We have so many important partnerships in our work across Gippsland, and within our local Health Precinct, the partnership with the Foster and Toora Medical Centre is so crucial to our success.

“We feel so fortunate to have such a highly-experienced, skilled and dedicated team of medical practitioners working with us,” he said. 

“We are lucky, and grateful, too, to receive donations from community groups and individuals, the SGH Auxiliary and the South Gippsland Community Health Foundation, and their support is also so important to our success.

“We do need more consumer representatives around the table though, and we have recently appointed a community engagement officer to help us better connect with people to help us improve our services,” Mr Greenhalgh said.

“Looking forward, we will have a new strategic plan in the next couple of months, more infrastructure upgrades, and more services for our community,” he said.

“We will also be growing our team through an expanded graduate nurse program, and other developments, to ensure we meet the needs of our community within our capability as a small rural health.

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