RECENT changes to the Bass Coast Health (BCH) Community Nursing Program have prompted a petition in the Inverloch community calling for the changes to be scrapped.
BCH has moved to bring together the clinical nurse consultant team and the district and palliative care team.
This was done in order to create a more integrated nursing service.
The clinical nurse consultant team shifted to San Remo prior to Christmas, with the Wonthaggi-based district and palliative care nurses to join them later this month.
The decision made by BCH has angered many within the community, including Inverloch resident Margaret Pope.
“I was horrified when I read that Bass Coast Health has made the decision to amalgamate district nursing and palliative care offices,” Mrs Pope said.
“How are elderly people with diabetes living in Inverloch going to get their insulin injection at 8am each morning, when hand-over is in San Remo, 37km away?”
Mrs Pope has had first-hand experience with local district nursing services.
“My dear husband Graeme was able to remain at home until the day before he died due to the dedication, expertise and compassion of these wonderful nurses,” she said.
“I only hope that it is not too late to reverse this ludicrous decision that will negatively impact on the very people it is meant to serve.”
Mrs Pope has started a petition supporting the retention of the District Nurses and Palliative Care team in Wonthaggi.
The petition can be signed at the Inverloch Newsagency, Inverloch Post Office, Foodworks supermarket in Inverloch or at the Inverloch Community House.
Within a week, the petition received more than 200 signatures.
Executive director of Primary and Community Care, Paul Greenhalgh, said service to the public would not be affected.
“We are working closely with the staff and have held meetings and workshops to ensure we work through all the implementation issues appropriately to support the changes,” Paul said.
“Whilst change is always difficult for some staff, the majority have embraced the notion of a single geographical base and the strengthened leadership model.
“We are confident that the overall service will be better positioned to see more patients across the whole Bass Coast Shire, and that the capabilities of the team will be enhanced to provide more care to our community.”
BCH CEO Jan Child said she expects significant efficiencies as a result of the integrated structure.
“There will be no loss of service – exactly the opposite – we are expanding the services and the changes will allow the expertise of the team to grow along with the amount of services provided over time.
“This change is ensuring we provide contemporary nursing services in line with our strategic plan and the soon to be released Clinical Services Plan.”
Concerns follow nursing changes