Talking about the Nurse Practitioner Service in Grantville, from left, Jean Coffee from Tenby Point, Richard Casbolt from Corinella, Barry Stewart from Kernot and Talina Birkett from Pioneer Bay met with Greg Hunt seeking his support for the nurse practitioner.
GRANTVILLE’S popular Nurse Practitioner Service could remain in place after the Bass Coast Shire Council agreed last week to support it.
The request by Nurse Practitioner Deb Garvey, for a reduced rent in order to continue the previously funded service, was rejected by the councillors at the July council meeting.
“Councillors had not been sufficiently briefed when considering the request, had little knowledge of the details of the case, and had no idea of the enormous groundswell of community support for the service,” Grantville’s Helen Zervopoulos said.
After the July meeting, the Nurse Practitioner appealed the decision and the community rallied in support.
The Waterline Nurse Practitioner Action Group [WNPAG] was formed to find a way to keep the service in operation and a petition was circulated attracting 500 signatures.
Members of WNPAG put together a proposal to present to council and also worked with individual councillors, council staff and Greg Hunt’s office, to broker some sort of arrangement that would allow the service to continue until patient numbers were recovered and funding for the service was secured.
WNPAG president and Kernot resident Barry Stewart, was not surprised at the overwhelming support for the Nurse Practitioner Service expressed by the Waterline and Hinterland communities.
The community further demonstrated their passion for maintaining the service by pitching in and donating enough money to pay the $200 a week rent until a decision was made.
“It became abundantly clear that the Nurse Practitioner service was a valuable recourse in providing primary health care to this area and was welcomed by the community as a complementary service to the existing Medical Practice,” he said
At an in camera session at last week’s council meeting, the motion to support the Nurse Practitioner service was passed.
“We are absolutely delighted with the offer that the councillors have put forward and could not have asked for a better outcome,” Barry said.
Barry also wishes to thank all the councillors who listened the community representatives and who looked favourably at the proposal to assist the Nurse Practitioner Service to remain in operation.
“It’s great to know that we can continue to go to someone we have already established a good rapport with,” Pioneer Bay resident and young mum Talina Birkett said.
The fight to retain the service is not completely over as now Ms Garvey has to continue to build her patient base and explore all available funding options.