I rise to speak on the Lorne Community Hospital annual report
2008-09. It would be safe to say that most members in the
chamber, as well as a significant number of Victorians, have visited Lorne,
whether it be for a one-off visit or a regular place to spend holidays with
family and friends. Events such as the Lorne Pier to Pub race, the Danger 1000
swim, the Falls Music and Arts Festival and schoolies week, to name a few, and
the natural beauty of Lorne and its surrounds ensure that at certain times of
the year the township of Lorne is almost bursting at the seams.
We often look at the many fantastic outcomes that stem from
Lorne, such as the tourist dollar and the economic stimulation which results
from the population influx during peak periods, but we cannot overlook the
extremely hardworking community and community services teams in Lorne that
accommodate this population influx.
In the winter months the population of Lorne is less than 1000
people. In the summer months this number can reach more than 10 000 people.
During the reporting period outpatient presentations went from 110 in winter to
460 in the peak of summer. The number of acute patients rose from 8 per month to
65 in the same manner. It takes an extremely hardworking hospital team, working
together with a very strong community, to cater for such a huge influx in
population and the subsequent demand on services in Lorne.
Relationships are a key part of the hospital’s work in a small
rural community, and it is encouraging to see the Lorne Community Hospital is
now represented on the Lorne community building initiative and is actively
involved in the Lorne men’s shed. This is mentioned on page 11 of the report and
was also reinforced in a report that I received on 27 January from Genevieve
Roberts, who is the Lorne community happening/community building initiative
facilitator, describing the Wellsprings project that has been undertaken in the
community and which involves the community building initiative, the Lorne
Community Hospital, the Fig Tree Community House, the Surf Coast shire and the
extended Lorne community.
It is about a holistic health partnership between all of those
stakeholders. It recognises that an integrated multi-agency approach is
necessary to address the complex issues of health and wellbeing. The team also
identified the need for a holistic preventive approach in conjunction with
specialist acute care intervention.
An upstream approach is called for to genuinely impact on
health and wellbeing.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge the Wellsprings project
team, which won the community organisation wellbeing award for Mental Health
Week 2009 for the Geelong and Barwon region. It is these relationships, in
conjunction with the strong partnerships between the Brumby Labor government and
health services around the state, that provide the roots for such excellent
During the reporting period the Minister for Health presented
an upgrade of the X-ray machine and training for staff to be licensed to use it.
Before this grant was delivered patients had to travel to Geelong if a suitably
qualified doctor was not available in Lorne for an X-ray.
I would like to acknowledge and congratulate Dr John Beaumont
on receiving a rural doctor’s award in recognition of 25 years service to the
In terms of accomplishments of the hospital, a major
achievement during the reporting period was gaining a four-year acute evaluation
and quality improvement program with the Australian Council of Health Services.
This recognises a satisfactory standard of care according to the external
standards agency. This is testament to the staff at Lorne Community Hospital.
During the reporting period the hospital also
focused on women’s and men’s health issues. There was a men’s health ‘Cut your
cancer risk’ forum and a breast screening day trip to Geelong, and extended Well
Women’s health clinics were run by the hospital’s women’s health nurse, Helen
I would like to finish by congratulating the Lorne Community
Hospital and the wider Lorne community for their dedication and hard work
throughout yet another busy tourist season and also passing on my
congratulations on another successful reporting period. I commend the report to