December 18, 2019

Looking forward to 2020

In 2019, growth in demand for Northern Health’s services continued, and we’ve recognised that we can’t do things the same way we have in the past.  That why we’ve established a new Staying Well program to help supporting and caring for patients at home, so that not all patients need to come into hospital.

We’ve established and strengthened partnerships to provide care together with local primary health care networks, community health services, Aboriginal health organisations, Women’s Health in the North and local government. Staying Well be a strong focus for us during 2020.

In addition to our outreach and partnerships, we know we need additional hospital capacity.  We are building Stage 2 of the Northern Hospital redevelopment that will provide an additional 96 beds and three new operating theatres, including a hybrid theatre, new kitchen and other facilities to support patient care.

We will continue to expand, with planning for the two new community hospitals in Craigieburn and the City of Whittlesea promised by the Victorian Government at the November 2018 state election.

Mental Health services will be another key focus in the New Year.  Three weeks ago we received the interim report of the Mental Health Royal Commission which has recommended establishing additional bed capacity to meet the mental health demand in growth areas like ours – plus hospital outreach services for attempted suicide patients.

We have much to be proud of including continuing to provide timely care to our community, and our examination pass rates have been very good, resulting from our investment and commitment to teaching and training.

Our next Accreditation assessment survey under the National Standards will be in May 2020.  I appreciate all the work being done both in clinical and non-clinical areas in preparation for the survey – reinforcing our strong focus and commitment on quality and safety.

As we approach Christmas and the holiday season please be safe, enjoy the festivities, and use the opportunity to refresh yourself. I also would like to acknowledge those of you who will continue to work over the festive season to ensure our patients receive the care they need.

Thank you for the work you do in supporting our patients and our community.

On behalf of the Executive we look forward to seeing you in the New Year – healthy, relaxed and happy.

Siva Sivarajah

Chief Executive