The Cobar community has unanimously agreed that having a new multipurpose health service co-located with the Lilliane Brady Village (LBV) would be in Cobar’s best interest.
Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) chief executive Scott McLachlan and his staff, along with Health Infrastructure staff presented two different Multipurpose Service (MPS) proposals to Cobar residents at four information sessions last Wednesday.
Cobar Hospital and Lilliane Brady Village staff, members of Cobar Health Council, Cobar Hospital Auxiliary and Pink Ladies along with interested Cobar residents were presented with proposals for a stand alone MPS or an MPS co-located with the LBV.
LBV’s Director of Nursing Sharon Huon wholeheartedly endorsed the co-location model.
“Co-location is a wonderful option for Cobar across the board, not just for aged care,” Mrs Huon said.
She said this option would give the LBV funding for extra beds, it would see the facility’s current accommodation upgraded and improve the sustainability of the service.
“This is a great opportunity for the future of aged care and acute care in Cobar,” Mrs Huon said.
Cobar Hospital Health Services Manager Mary Urquhart echoed Mrs Huon’s sentiment and said having “a health services precinct would be fantastic for Cobar”.
“We already have an Integrated Health Care pilot program working well in Cobar; we are a leader in this area in NSW,” Mrs Urquhart said.
“It proves that our health services can work well together.”
She said a co-located MPS would not only be of benefit to Integrated Health Care, it also offered other bonuses for the hospital and LBV with the opportunity to share services and education resources.
Mr McLachlan said preliminary plans would see the LBV’s current four-bed rooms upgraded to two-bed rooms and the bathrooms would also be remodelled.
“There would be two-bed rooms maximum in the new facility,” Mr McLachlan said.
He said there would be no loss of services for acute care, with the service still providing 10 beds plus emergency beds and an additional 10 aged care beds.
Mr McLachlan said the LHD would have responsibility for the MPS and ideally a private aged care services provider would run the LBV aged care section.
“That’s their core business, they can do it better than us,” Mr McLachlan said.
He said increasing Cobar’s aged care to 44 beds would make it a more viable service and more attractive to a private provider, however he said if a private provider wasn’t found, the LHD would step in and manage the aged care side.
“We already run 350 aged care beds across the LHD.”
Mayor Lilliane Brady said it was imperative that the 10 additional aged care beds be incorporated into the LBV part of the new facility.
Lyn Duffy from Health Infrastructure said now that a model had been decided upon, there is still a lengthy planning process to go through.
“It would still be a good two years before we see any ground being dug,” Ms Duffy said.