A great example of this value in action is through the public-private partnership that was born out of COVID-19, which brought health services together to tackle common challenges in the wake of the pandemic. Initially this was centred on planning for a then-expected surge in demand for COVID-related critical care, but as the pandemic has worn on, health services have also increasingly supported each other on other fronts – including staff furloughs and responses to outbreaks in private sector residential aged care.
Here at St John of God Health Care’s South East Melbourne Hospitals we’ve answered the call wherever needed. In doing so, we’ve:
- Cared for COVID-postive and 'SCOVID-positive' (suspected) aged care patients
- Recommissioned our former Gibb Street hospital in Berwick to accommodate aged-care residents who were unable to return safely to their aged-care facilities, providing excellent nursing care as well as allied health, music and art therapies
- Reduced elective surgery capacity to tackle public health waiting lists – taking in public patients from Monash Health, primarily ICU, urology and maternity patients
- St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital took in public patients from Peninsula Health and Monash Health for rehabilitation
- St John of God Pinelodge Clinic was prepared for potential aged-care mental health public patients
- Partnered with Monash Health to administer vaccines – upskilling many of our caregivers who offered to be redeployed in the newly created vaccination clinic at Berwick, making the vaccine more easily accessible to the local community
- Provided staff to contract tracing efforts and COVID-swabbing sites.
Rhonda O’Connor, Director of Mission Integration for South East Melbourne Hospitals says the opportunity to partner with the public health system meant everybody had equal access to the care they needed and deserved: “We should all be really proud of our response across our South East Melbourne Hospitals," she said.
“Even though it has meant extra pressure and new challenges, what I have continued to hear is that this is what is needed and is in the best interests of all. It is a fantastic example of what it means to all of us at St John of God Health Care when we commit to upholding the value of justice in our community.”