Survey helps shape south-west community health services

FEEDBACK from clients has prompted significant changes to the way South West Healthcare’s (SWH) Community Health Service provides its services.

SWH community services director Craig Fraser said responses suggesting community health services should be centralised in one building helped persuade SWH to build its year-old $26 million community health centre.

Public feedback also prompted SWH to establish a bulk-billing general practitioner clinic in the new centre because people said they were not able to see GPs at other clinics quickly, Mr Fraser said.

The community health service now wants to keep a good thing going and has sent a questionnaire to about 700 people who have used its services at Warrnambool, Camperdown, Macarthur and Lismore during the past six months. 

The confidential and anonymous survey was mailed out to randomly-selected clients this week and includes questions about allied health, district nursing services and dental services.

Mr Fraser urged people to complete the survey because the responses would be used to continue the process of improving community health services.

“We really value the feedback we receive from our consumers, carers and the community — whether it is positive or negative — because this is the only way we can make sure we continually improve,” he said.

“We don’t only aim for all of our patients, clients, carers and families to have good outcomes from visiting our community health centres. We also want their experiences to be positive and for them to feel that we really do care about them.”

People who don’t receive a survey in the mail but want to participate can get one at their nearest SWH community health centre.

Mr Fraser said the centre hoped to install a computer at the Warrnambool centre where clients could contribute feedback after visiting, allowing quicker responses.

He said the Warrn-ambool centre had experienced a big increase in demand for its services since it opened in November last year.

New referrals had increased from 300 a month to 500 a month, most likely because centralisation in the one building had made more people aware of the services available, Mr Fraser said.

He said 22,000 people had attended at the Warrnambool centre since it opened and the 200 clinicians were providing about 4000 treatments a month.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide