Following Nepean Hospital’s Stage 1 Redevelopment being completed earlier this year and with preparation for Stage 2 construction well underway, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District has now embarked on an exciting new chapter, planning future clinical services in the Blue Mountains.
A community information session at held Springwood, one of three held in the Blue Mountains
Local residents, consumers, community organisations and Blue Mountains Hospital staff recently participated in information sessions to help finalisea clinical services plan for future healthcare, including community-based, outpatient and hospital services.
NBMLHD Director of Planning, Redevelopment and Strategic Office Vanessa Clements says delivering safe and high-quality healthcare requires years of planning.
“A typical clinical services plan looks at least 10 years into the future and uses data projections such as population growth and age profiles to assess the health needs of a changing community. This ensures health care is delivered at the right time, in the right location,” says Vanessa.
“We began work on a Clinical Services Plan for the Blue Mountains back in 2018 holding consultation sessions with the community and stakeholders, however due to events including bushfires, floods and COVID-19 finalising the plan was unavoidably delayed.”
The latest consultations are helping to update the plan and account for the impact those significant events have had and will continue to have on healthcare. The recent information sessions have been a rewarding exercise that helps outline the strengths and opportunities to enhance and improve our current service offerings while looking towards the future.
“It’s been a most humbling experience listening to the feedback and personal stories of our consumers,” says Vanessa.
“Without doubt, everyone we have spoken to highlights the passion, consideration and commitment of our staff when it comes to delivering care.”
“We received particular praise for Blue Mountains Hospital departments including emergency, palliative care, hydrotherapy, rehabilitation and more, and this commitment to high-quality care will underpin our future planning process.”
NBMLHD Director of Planning, Redevelopment and Strategic Office, Vanessa Clements
NBMLHD welcomes the honest feedback from our consumers which clearly emphasises the Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital building has outlived its lifespan.
“The District and its executive team all agree that any new hospital in the Blue Mountains will need the right balance of clinical services to help to deliver compassionate, world-class health care into the future,” says Vanessa.
Feedback from consumers at the information sessions included bringing cancer care closer to home, strengthening telehealth and palliative care services across all settings including home and community, enhancing child and adolescent mental health services and improving transport carparking and hospital access.
Community members who were unable to attend the current round of information sessions will be able to join future forums.
“The clinical services plan is the first step in a very long journey towards building a new hospital for the Blue Mountains. There will be many more opportunities for the community to express their views as planning progresses,” explains Vanessa.
“Following the completion of the clinical services plan, we look forward to getting underway with the planning and design phase for a new Blue Mountains Hospital.”
Earlier this year the NSW Government committed $25 million towards the maintenance of the existing Blue Mountains Hospital, along with planning of a new hospital in the Blue Mountains.