Bendigo Community Health Services has announced new strategic directions designed to reduce health inequity and break cycles of disadvantage in Bendigo.
BCHS chairperson Geoff Bowyer and CEO Kim Sykes outlined a new vision, mission, values and strategic directions for the organisation to a gathering of community, business and local government leaders at The Capital in June.
A new $2.6 million kidzspace centre being built at Kangaroo Flat will provide a key asset in the organisation's plans to put very early intervention at the forefront of programs and services.
"If we get this right, we will make a fundamental change in this city," Ms Sykes said.
"We will remain a service available to all ages but the evidence clearly shows we must have a focus on very early years if we are to change the unacceptable health and wellbeing consequences that too often come with a low income.
"Our organisation strongly believes that it's no longer acceptable to think health inequity is okay. It's not."
Ms Sykes said the new directions built on a lot of good work done by BCHS staff through a 40 year history and will be strengthened by valuable collaborations with like-minded organisations.
A SEIFA graph displayed at the launch clearly outlined the need for change in Bendigo with a large number of areas falling below the average on the Australian Bureau of Statistics social disadvantage index.
Mr Bowyer told the launch the board had endorsed the new vision, mission and values developed with considerable staff input.
Vision: Better health and wellbeing across generations.
Mission: Working hand in hand with our community to achieve healthier lives.
Respect: We build respectful relationships through trust, empathy and collaboration.
Inclusive: We recognise and promote accessible, safe and holistic health care as a basic human right.
Integrity: We are authentic and accountable and we honour our obligations.
Innovation: Through continuous learning, we ensure an agile, responsive and sustainable voice.
He said the new strategic directions would guide the organisation through the next three years on a path to achieving real change for the community.
Mr Bowyer said the new strategic directions would include four separate areas for the organisation:
Programs for equity
Commitment to achieving equitable health and wellbeing.
- Review existing programs to ensure they are achieving equitable health and social outcomes.
- Use evidence to establish service models and place-based responses either alone or in collaboration with others.
- Strengthen our focus on prevention through expanding our early years and family services programs.
- Align our workforce capability and capacity to our programs.
Consumer and community-centred organisation
Understand and respond to community needs and consumers’ lived experience
- Increase community awareness of BCHS so that the community knows what we offer and how to access it.
- Establish and use systems to capture and respond to what we hear from consumers and the community.
- Drive consumer-centred practice across all parts of the organisation.
- Successfully transition to consumer-led and contestable funding arrangements, including establishing new business models which are consistent with our mission and support organisational sustainability.
- Look for opportunities to increase the level of health literacy of our community so people are better able to be active in the management of their own health and wellbeing.
Quality, safety and consumer experiences
Deliver the best consumer experience that is of consistent quality, safe and evidence-based
- Build and use an outcomes framework to improve performance and to report to our community (through Community Governance Committee) on the outcomes we are achieving.
- Strengthen clinical governance and continuously improve quality and safety culture.
- All programs will have a strong practice framework with staff supported to deliver identified outcomes.
Sustainable for purpose organisation
- Develop business models which support out mission and ensure organisational sustainability.
- Strengthen financial planning and business systems.
- Develop and implement an ICT strategy.
- Undertake required infrastructure planning.
- Review and enhance board governance.